The ongoing Covid-19 crisis has undoubtedly affected offline business and activities at all levels. Several planned training programmes have been postponed due to a strict measure of COVID-19 control and physical distancing.
Sustainable and Climate-Friendly Palm Oil Production and Procurement (SCPOPP) also adopts the online training as a platform for those interested trainers, including representative from palm oil mills, smallholders, extension officials from the Department of Agricultural Extension (DOAE) and experts from universities, to share their views and lessons learned on sustainable palm oil production.
With only few equipment such as computers, cameras, speakers, microphones and internet connection, up to 200 SCPOPP trainers based in Krabi, Suratthani and Chumphon provinces together with participants from other locations can access the online training on Microsoft teams each time. This project helped theses trainers to prepare necessary equipment for accessing the online training, including computers or notebooks with cameras, speakers, microphones, and an internet connection.
Challenges do exist though. The Thailand Oil Palm Smallholder Academy (TOPSA) tranining format and period originally designed for face-to-face and interactive meeting needs to be adjusted to meet suitability of the online training. The social and environmental impact of sustainable oil palm is the key topic for the online training. Samples and analysis tools for measuring social impact or legal assessment of oil palm plantations are available for trainers to use and put into practice.
Apart from social impact assessment training session, trainers are also encouraged to attend a one-day online course on environmental impact of sustainable oil palm on living organisms and ecosystems. So they can learn more in-depth about the values of conservation. Technical knowledge and skills learned will enable trainers and oil palm smallholders to effectively develop suitable management plan, monitoring and evaluation system while minimising the environmental, social and cultural impacts by implementing good techniques to their palm oil plantations.