Training needs diagnosis in agro-livestock cooperatives linked to development projects

Cooperativismo y Desarrollo, May-August 2021; 9(2), 350-378
Translated from the original in Spanish

 

Training needs diagnosis in agro-livestock cooperatives linked to development projects

 

Diagnóstico de necesidades de capacitación en cooperativas agropecuarias vinculadas a proyectos de desarrollo

 

Diagnóstico das necessidades de formação em cooperativas agrícolas ligadas a projetos de desenvolvimento

 

Amyrsa Salgado Rodríguez1; Claudia Tamayo Rosabal2; Néstor Loredo Carballo3; Zoila Madiú Quiroga Gómez4; Ricardo Morell Morfa5

1 Universidad de Camagüey "Ignacio Agramonte Loynaz". Facultad de Ciencias Económicas. Centro de Estudios de Dirección Empresarial y Territorial (CEDET). Camagüey, Cuba.
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6923-8661
amyrsasalgado@gmail.com

2 Complejo de Tiendas Caribe. Sucursal Camagüey. Camagüey, Cuba.
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3604-0966
claudiatr@gmail.com

3 Universidad de Camagüey "Ignacio Agramonte Loynaz". Facultad de Ciencias Económicas. Centro de Estudios de Dirección Empresarial y Territorial (CEDET). Camagüey, Cuba.
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5975-9888
nestor.loredo@reduc.edu.cu

4 Universidad de Camagüey "Ignacio Agramonte Loynaz". Facultad de Ciencias Económicas. Centro de Estudios de Dirección Empresarial y Territorial (CEDET). Camagüey, Cuba.
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1910-9626
zoila.quiroga@reduc.edu.cu

5 Oficina Técnica Provincial de PRODEGAN. Grupo Empresarial Ganadero. Camagüey, Cuba.
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2488-9476
ricardomorell0321@gmail.com

 

Received: 3/07/2020
Accepted: 3/05/2021


ABSTRACT

An accurate diagnosis of training needs conditions pertinent actions for individual and collective development, particularly for agro-livestock cooperatives linked to development projects, is imperative. The methodological deficiencies revealed led to formulate as objective of this work: To show a methodological guide for the diagnosis of training needs in agricultural cooperatives linked to development projects and the results of its implementation in the Basic Unit of Cooperative Production "La Unión". The research was based on the study methodology of the Marxist-Leninist philosophy. As materials and methods, the following were used: surveys, interviews, documentary review and observation. For data processing, SPSS and Microsoft Excel were used. The following are the main results: methodological guide for the diagnosis of training needs in agricultural cooperatives associated with development projects, identification of training gaps in "La Unión" based on its strategic projection and the livestock cooperative development project in the central-eastern region Prodegan, proposal of training topics by area. It was concluded that: there are methodological deficiencies to develop training needs assessments in agro-livestock cooperatives that include training demands of their development projects; the proposed guide showed methodological value due to the logical consistency, flexibility and structuring of its phases, making possible the articulation between demands of the strategic projection, individual interests of the cooperative members and training requirements of Prodegan in "La Unión"; it also made it possible to discover training gaps by area and provided information to adjust the training plan.

Keywords: training in agro-livestock cooperatives; diagnosis of training needs in agro-livestock cooperatives linked to development projects; training needs in agro-livestock cooperatives


RESUMEN

El acertado diagnóstico de necesidades de capacitación condiciona acciones pertinentes para el desarrollo individual y colectivo, particularmente para cooperativas agropecuarias vinculadas a proyectos de desarrollo, resulta un imperativo. Las carencias metodológicas develadas condujeron a formular como objetivo de este trabajo: Mostrar una guía metodológica para el diagnóstico de necesidades de capacitación en cooperativas agropecuarias vinculadas a proyectos de desarrollo y los resultados de su implementación en la Unidad Básica de Producción Cooperativa "La Unión". La investigación se basó en la metodología de estudio de la filosofía marxista-leninista. Como materiales y métodos, se emplearon: encuestas, entrevistas, revisión documental y observación. Para el procesamiento de datos, se utilizaron SPSS y Microsoft Excel. Se destacan como resultados: guía metodológica para el diagnóstico de necesidades de capacitación en cooperativas agropecuarias asociadas a proyectos de desarrollo, identificación de brechas de capacitación en "La Unión" a partir de su proyección estratégica y el proyecto de desarrollo cooperativo ganadero en la región centro-oriental Prodegan, propuesta de temas de capacitación por área. Se concluyó que: existen carencias metodológicas para desarrollar diagnósticos de necesidades de capacitación en cooperativas agropecuarias que incluyera demandas de capacitación de sus proyectos de desarrollo; la guía propuesta demostró valor metodológico por la consistencia lógica, flexibilidad y estructuración de sus fases, posibilitando la articulación entre demandas de la proyección estratégica, intereses individuales de los cooperativistas y requerimientos de capacitación del Prodegan en "La Unión", también posibilitó descubrir brechas de capacitación por área y proporcionó información para ajustar el plan de capacitación.

Palabras clave: capacitación en cooperativas agropecuarias; diagnóstico de necesidades de capacitación en cooperativas agropecuarias vinculadas a proyectos de desarrollo; necesidades de capacitación en cooperativas agropecuarias


RESUMO

O diagnóstico preciso das necessidades de formação condiciona as ações relevantes para o desenvolvimento individual e coletivo, particularmente para as cooperativas agrícolas ligadas a projetos de desenvolvimento, é um imperativo. As deficiências metodológicas reveladas levaram a formular como objetivo deste trabalho: Mostrar uma guia metodológica para o diagnóstico das necessidades de formação em cooperativas agrícolas ligadas a projetos de desenvolvimento e os resultados da sua implementação na Unidade Básica de Produção Cooperativa "La Unión". A investigação foi baseada na metodologia de estudo da filosofia marxista-leninista. Como materiais e métodos, foram utilizados os seguintes: inquéritos, entrevistas, revisão documental e observação. Para o processamento de dados, foram utilizados SPSS e Microsoft Excel. Destacam-se os seguintes resultados: guia metodológico para o diagnóstico das necessidades de formação em cooperativas agrícolas associadas a projetos de desenvolvimento, identificação de lacunas de formação em "La Unión" com base na sua projeção estratégica e no projeto de desenvolvimento da pecuária cooperativa na região centro-oriental Prodegan, proposta de temas de formação por área. Concluiu-se que: existem deficiências metodológicas para desenvolver avaliações das necessidades de formação nas cooperativas agrícolas que incluem exigências de formação dos seus projetos de desenvolvimento; o guia proposto mostrou valor metodológico para a coerência lógica, flexibilidade e estruturação das suas fases, permitindo a articulação entre as exigências da projeção estratégica, os interesses individuais dos membros da cooperativa e as exigências de formação de Prodegan em "La Unión", também permitiu descobrir lacunas de formação por área e forneceu informações para ajustar o plano de formação.

Palavras-chave: formação em cooperativas agrícolas; diagnóstico das necessidades de formação em cooperativas agrícolas ligadas a projetos de desenvolvimento; necessidades de formação em cooperativas agrícolas


 

INTRODUCTION

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Cepal, 2018, p. 22), a roadmap promoted by Cepal as an opportunity for the sustainable development of Latin American and Caribbean countries, in its goal 2.a recognizes the need for international cooperation for investments in rural infrastructure, research and agricultural extension services, technological development and plant and livestock gene banks, in order to improve agro-livestock production capacity in developing countries.

For the Cuban State, food security is a strategic socioeconomic priority and, in this direction, steps have been taken ranging from its conception in the New Cuban Economic Model and the Guidelines of the Economic Policy of the Party and the Revolution (LPES in Spanish), approved at the VII Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, to the recently established Plan for Food Sovereignty and Nutritional Education of Cuba, highlighting the role of the agro-livestock sector in such purposes. Within these priorities, support for livestock production cooperatives not only coincides with the Government's strategy (through the LPES), but is justified by the fact that the cooperative sector is the most important in terms of its participation in national food production, in that it stands as a competitive and efficient alternative, which offers new answers to the imbalances in the value chain of the agri-food sector and which, in turn, promotes employment and local food chains, food security, participation and responsibility of the whole society (Acosta Morales, 2020).

Despite the many measures taken by the country's leadership to boost domestic food production, the response of this sector is still insufficient to meet this demand. Given this scenario, Cuba, taking advantage of the opportunity of being a founding member of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the important contribution of this organization in the process of modernizing the Cuban agro-livestock sector by increasing physical, human, social and environmental assets, signed in 2016 the cooperative livestock development project in the central-eastern region (known by its acronym as Prodegan), the third joint project between the Ministry of Agriculture (Minag) and IFAD.

Funded by IFAD and Minag and co-financed by the French Development Agency, Prodegan aims to implement a development scheme for milk and meat production that combines territorial development with the possibility of achieving a sustainable impact on technological development, the provision of support services and the beginning of the process of transforming cooperatives into modern production and service provision entities (IFAD, 2016).

The improvement in the quality of life, gender equality and the path to decrease inequities have in the cooperative movement an indispensable element in the creation of a new culture based on cooperation and social participation (Donestévez, 2017), are aspects cited by Prodegan, not only in the declared target groups, but also in the declared training topics.

The project (IFAD, 2016) estimates a benefit, not only for the associates, but also to 11,400 families of producers organized and employed in approximately 105 cooperatives (Credit and Service Cooperatives -CCS in Spanish-, Agricultural Production Cooperatives -CPA in Spanish- and Basic Units of Cooperative Production -UBPC in Spanish-) livestock or agricultural livestock in the municipalities of Guáimaro, Sibanicú, Jimaguayú and Camagüey in the province of Camagüey, as well as to the technical personnel of the Service Providing Entities that provide support services to the livestock sector, specifically to the sectors related to milk and beef production. On the other hand, it proposes the integral training to these target groups among its main results, which presupposes the relevant role it confers to training in the achievement of the proposed objectives.

Training is an essential element in the development and competitiveness of organizations (Cuesta Santos, 2010); it has a determining influence on the functioning of organizations, which need human resources capable of adapting quickly to modern technologies and with the professional skills necessary to face complex problems (Labrador Machín et al., 2019) and is identified as an instrument that teaches, systematically develops and places any person in circumstances of competence (López Boudet et al., 2017). In addition, it contributes to the requalification of personnel to adapt them to the changes that occur in the environment, since it allows them to adjust their personal qualities to a given activity, in addition to improving and updating the capacities, skills, attitudes and aptitudes suitable for their performance.

For Cuban agro-livestock cooperatives in particular, training is considered a key activity, given the need for them to have personnel prepared to lead the entity towards sustainable development, with full mastery of the principles and values of cooperativism; to know the legal norms that protect cooperativism, as well as to know and exercise their rights as members of the cooperative (Elizondo Lopetegui, 2013). This provides the member and the actors linked to cooperativism with tools to face the cooperative management process and contribute to a better functioning of the cooperatives and, through training actions, creates in the member skills that contribute to a better performance in the cooperative (García Pedraza et al., 2018).

De Armas and Tamayo (2019) advocate the existence in organizations of an interactive training system that responds to the needs of each individual. The fact that training is adjusted to a personalized demand reaffirms the assumption that its effectiveness will be conditioned, to a large extent, by the precision with which these are identified and their coherence with the competencies for the position, as suggested by Palmero Peña et al. (2012).

From what is expressed by authors such as: Coronado, Arroyo, Vázquez and Hernández (2017); Díaz de Casanova, Hernández and Pérez (2018); García López (2011); Leyva, Molina and Real (2016) and Elizondo Lopetegui (2013), it is inferred, in the first instance, that the training needs diagnosis (DNC in Spanish) is the way to identify the training gaps of the individuals of an organization, meanwhile it becomes a necessary premise to design effective training plans.

The DNC constitutes a process which purpose is to research and identify which are the competencies and capacities that need to be strengthened and/or developed in a worker or group, based on the lacks or deficiencies that he/she possesses in terms of knowledge, skills, attitudes and habits to perform effectively in his/her job position (Castillo Contreras, 2012). For its successful implementation, it is required to take into account the profiles or competencies of each job position, as suggested by Díaz de Casanova et al. (2018) and Prieto Olivera and Pérez Marimón (2011). The participation of both the immediate bosses and the staff involved with the position (Prieto Olivera & Pérez Marimón, 2011) and the consideration of plans and strategies, investments, evolution of jobs, problems, needs of the management level and new projects (Elizondo Lopetegui, 2013) are also aspects to be taken into account to perform a DNC.

Undoubtedly, the new challenges and responsibilities faced by livestock cooperative members and the need to implement a modern livestock activity require that farmers be trained to develop management models that are technologically superior to the current ones and create conditions to exploit their full potential; however, this implies identifying what training they require to respond to these challenges. The purposes of Prodegan and its training requirements also make it necessary to determine these needs as a prelude to the Training Plan (PC in Spanish), included in the Cooperative Development Plan (PDC in Spanish).

Based on Prodegan's requirements regarding the PCs, the study began by verifying the existence and content of the PCs in the PDCs of the cooperatives under study. This made it possible to corroborate insufficiencies regarding the non-inclusion of the project's requirements in the training actions contemplated in the plan. Also, the participation of the authors of this work in activities promoted by Prodegan made it possible to confirm the dissatisfaction of the managers of these cooperatives in relation to the training actions they received and the way in which these were planned in their respective cooperatives.

As part of the research, it was also necessary to study methodological proposals that would contribute to the conduct of a DNC in the context of Cuban agro-livestock cooperatives with the particularities imposed on them by a development project. In general, the findings revealed multiple proposals on how to carry out a DNC, however, it was not found that these proposals responded to organizations with the particularities of agricultural cooperatives in a development project environment, although a closer approach to the expectations of this study was found in the Methodological guide for training, according to demand (Elizondo Lopetegui, 2013); it was not sufficiently explained how to articulate training needs, according to the requirements of a development project, with individual and organizational needs, according to development strategies, which was identified as a problem to be solved in order to carry out the DNC in the cooperatives linked to Prodegan.

Based on the above elements and the results obtained during the research that gave rise to this work, the objective of this paper is formulated as follows: To show a methodological guide for the diagnosis of training needs in agricultural cooperatives linked to development projects and the results of its implementation in the Basic Unit of Cooperative Production "La Unión".

 

MATERIALS AND METHODS

The research was developed based on the methodology of Marxist-Leninist philosophy. Among the materials and methods used were: surveys, interviews, document review and observation. SPSS and Microsoft Excel were used for data processing.

The documentary review was aimed at synthesizing the main methodological theoretical underpinnings related to training, DNCs and the methodological proposals reported in the scientific literature. This made it possible to discover the main limitations for developing a DNC consistent with the requirements of a development project in agro-livestock cooperatives, as well as to determine the essential elements to be considered for the design of the guide. The Prodegan Design Conclusion Report (IFAD, 2016) was also analyzed, with the purpose of specifying performance needs demanded by the project, as well as the main training requirements. In addition, the PCs described in the PDCs of the 31 advanced cooperatives selected by the management of the Prodegan Provincial Technical Project Office (OTPP in Spanish) were reviewed in order to compare what was recorded in them with the project's training requirements.

The interviews were conducted with the board of directors of the cooperative and some of the heads of the micro-herds. The surveys, on the other hand, were applied to 33 active cooperative members, out of a population of 40, which represented 82.5%; of these, 17 belonged to the 8 micro-herds (9 cowboys and 8 heads of micro-herds); 5 to the weaning unit and the heifer center; 4 to the cooling center and 7 to the administrative office. Both techniques were applied with the objective of identifying the training needs of the cooperative members, hired workers and their board of directors; evaluating the motivational state and the relationships among them in their workplace; identifying the main problems faced by the cooperative, related to training deficiencies and evaluating the training process within the cooperative. In addition, field work was carried out to exchange information with members of the board of directors, heads of micro-herds and some cowboys in order to obtain their opinions about the training received and the training required.

For statistical processing of the data, SPSS software and Microsoft Excel were used to generate graphs. This made it possible to perform a frequency analysis (Table 1) and to obtain the percentage of representativeness of the items analyzed.

Table 1 - Frequency analysis of training needs identified by the cooperative members of the UBPC "La Unión"

Training topics

Micro cowshed

Administration office

Heifer and weaning center

Cooling

F

%

F

%

F

%

F

%

Gender

0

0.0%

5

20.0%

1

3.4%

1

12.5%

Access to the purchase of inputs, services and equipment.

0

0.0%

0

0.0 %

0

0.0%

3

37.5%

Animal Health

15

21.1%

2

8.0%

4

13.8%

0.0%

Dough Feeding

13

18.3%

2

8.0%

4

13.8%

0.0%

Enterprise Management

0

0.0%

2

8.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Agro-livestock Technology

10

14.1%

5

20.0%

5

17.2%

4

50.0%

Reproduction and genetics

0.0%

0

0.0%

5

17.2%

0

0.0%

Milking routine and hygiene

10

14.1%

0

0.0%

0

0.0%

0

0.0%

Agrotechnics

0

0.0%

2

8.0%

0

0.0%

0

0.0%

Dough handling

11

15.5%

1

4.0%

0

0.0%

0

0.0%

Dough biosecurity

12

16.9%

1

4.0%

5

17.2%

0

0.0%

Good environmental practices

0

0.0%

5

20.0%

5

17.2%

0

0.0%

 

71

100%

25

100%

29

100%

8

100%

Source: Processing of the surveys through SPSS software

Training needs were determined for each area or department, considering that the demands would vary according to the type of activity that characterized the area. The work climate and satisfaction levels were also analyzed under this same criterion.

Among the 31 advanced cooperatives of Prodegan, the UBPC "La Unión" was the cooperative selected by the OTPP to apply the methodological guide for the DNC, resulting from this research.

 

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

About the study in Prodegan's 31 advanced cooperatives

The comparative analysis between the training requirements stated in the Prodegan report (IFAD, 2016) and the training actions contemplated in the PCs of the 31 advanced cooperatives, as well as the opinions expressed during the fieldwork with the boards of directors of these units, made it possible to discover that:

Design of the methodological guide for DNC in agro-livestock cooperatives linked to development projects

For the design of the methodological guide, the levels of analysis provided by García (2011) were taken into account. Thus, the "organization" and "people" levels were assumed, while the "tasks and processes" level was not considered because the particularities of the cooperative sector did not guarantee the conditions for its study. Thus, the guide conceived a phase 2, focused on the cooperative as an organization, and a phase 3 that would study the people (cooperative members, hired workers, land users associated with the cooperative and the board of directors).

Phase 2 was aimed at identifying the problems faced by the organization and analyzing their possible relationship with the lack of training. For these purposes, a review of the administrative documentation was conceived, including: the organization's vision and objectives; expansion plans (as specified in the PDCs), as well as the development project from which the cooperative benefited in order to specify the new or future performance needs and the main training requirements established by the project.

Phase 3 provided for the review of the performance evaluation of all the cooperative's members, in order to have an overall assessment of their individual work and to identify which of the negative results could be associated with a lack of training. It also foresaw the application of interviews and surveys; the interviews for the members of the board of directors, while the surveys for the cooperative members and contracted workers.

In general, the methodological guide was structured methodologically with four phases, each with its own objective and steps (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1 - Structure of the methodological guide for DNC in agro-livestock cooperatives linked to development projects
Source: Own elaboration

The steps also state their objective and methodological orientations.

The phases and steps of the guide were established as follows:

Phase 1. Preparation of initial conditions

Objective: Ensure the conditions for the performance of the work team.

Step 1. Organization of the work team for the elaboration of the DNC.

Objective: To constitute the work team for the realization of the DNC.

Methodological orientations:

Step 2. Preparation for the DNC

Objective: Create conditions of personnel preparation and availability of resources for the development of the DNC.

Methodological orientations:

Phase 2. Analysis of potential training demands at the organizational level

Objective: Identify possible training demands according to the cooperative's projections and problems.

Step 3. Identification of problems caused by training deficit.

Objective: Determine the problems in the cooperative that reveal potential training needs.

Methodological orientations:

Step 4. Identification of the training requirements of the development project to which the cooperative is linked.

Objective: To identify the training requirements of the development project.

Methodological orientations:

Phase 3. Survey of training needs at the individual level

Objective: Identify individual training demands.

Step 5. Individual study of training needs.

Objective: Identify training needs according to criteria.

Methodological orientations:

Phase 4. Training needs diagnosis implementation

Objective: To carry out the training needs diagnosis

Step 6. Determination of training gaps.

Objective: Identify the training needs of the cooperative.

Methodological orientations:

Step 7. Proposal of training topics.

Objective: Propose training topics according to identified needs.

Methodological orientations:

Main results in the UBPC "La Unión" from the application of the methodological guide for DNC in agro-livestock cooperatives linked to development projects.

The following results were obtained from the application of the methodological guide for DNC in agro-livestock cooperatives linked to development projects in the UBPC "La Unión".

About preparation of initial conditions for DNC (Phase 1)

A working team was formed to develop the DNC. It was made up of the members of the cooperative's board of directors, the provincial coordinator of Prodegan, the person in charge of the planning, monitoring, evaluation, learning and knowledge management system in the project's OTPP and two external advisors, members of the research team.

The team members were trained on how to carry out the DNC, emphasizing the techniques to be applied in each area, the information to be obtained with its application, as well as the way in which the data would be recorded and processed.

Finally, the tasks to be performed were assigned to each of the members of the work team.

Regarding the analysis of potential training demands at the organizational level (Phase 2)

The review of administrative documents (Step 3) made it possible to identify that the UBPC's PDC was aimed at organizing agricultural production, ensuring increased income, environmental improvement and increased milk and meat production. It was also identified a vision focused on feeding the population, together with the improvement of the quality of life of cooperative members and their families, as well as contributing to the substitution of imports in the country. Likewise, the following were identified as specific objectives:

According to information contained in the PDC, it was found that the UBPC proposed to increase production by improving conditions for livestock development and training actions for producers, aimed at increasing the efficiency of herd management, increasing forage areas, as well as genetic improvement of the herd.

To determine the problems caused by the lack of training (suggested in Step 3), an analysis was carried out based on the following categories: working environment, quality of work, present and projected changes. A review of the PDC showed that the main problems reported were due to a lack of resources and technology; none were identified as being caused by a lack of training.

As a result of this step, a list was drawn up summarizing the training needs according to the vision, mission, specific objectives and problems stated in the PDC.

The review of the final report of the Prodegan design (suggested in Step 4) made it possible to identify the training requirements of this project, in order to facilitate the assimilation of the new technologies and the new mechanisms of operation of the cooperative proposed by the project, so training should be designed around:

It was identified that training should not only focus on technical-productive aspects, but also on aspects related to:

All of Prodegan's training requirements were listed.

Referring to the study of training needs at the individual level (Phase 3)

To carry out the study of individual training needs, interviews and surveys were conducted.

The interviews were conducted with the members of the board of directors (President, Economic, Heads of micro-cowsheds, Head of Production).

The interviewees stated that the general performance of their workers was excellent and each of them affirmed that the training needs were due to the new technologies and operating mechanisms required by Prodegan. They also stated that, if any training was provided, it should be aimed at orienting the cooperative members to the new process of change that the project entailed, since the introduction of unfamiliar technologies created an atmosphere of distrust and resistance.

They also highlighted their dissatisfaction with training, recognizing that it was not carried out in a participatory manner and that it did not respond to individual needs. They also admitted that they were unaware of the diagnosis of training needs as a prior and necessary element for the PC.

In order to apply the surveys, first the areas of the UBPC were identified, which included: seven micro-herds, a weaning unit, a heifer center, a small livestock unit, a milk cooling center and the administration office.

The surveys were administered to all the cooperative members active in the UBPC to identify the training needs perceived by the respondents, their levels of satisfaction and their assessment of the work environment.

To analyze the demands for training topics, a matrix was prepared with the percentage distribution of the frequency with which these needs were identified by the respondents in each of the UBPC areas.

The surveys were processed using SPSS statistical software. Figure 2 shows the results of the topics in which the cooperative members recognized training needs.

Fig. 2 - Training needs by area of the UBPC "La Unión", as perceived by the cooperative members
Source: Data collected in applied surveys

As can be seen, animal health, mass feeding, intensive grazing model, mass biosecurity, gender focus and agricultural technology were the most requested topics. Agricultural technology was identified as a need in all areas and was the most recognized by respondents. However, it is striking that two of the only three topics recognized by this area obtained the highest percentages, indicating a marked need for training in these two topics and an issue to be prioritized in the PC.

As for the opinion of the respondents regarding the training system, 54% of the cooperative members expressed that they were not satisfied or moderately satisfied with the training system.

In relation to the valuation of relations among workers, 100 % stated that they were good.

It was found that, even though the main problems detected in the cooperative were caused by a lack of resources and technology that could not be solved with training, some of them could be solved with training actions, such as deficiencies in current dough handling practices. The inadequate planning of training should also be helped to solve with actions of this type.

Likewise, it was found that the motivational state and the work climate were favorable, so training on these issues was not appropriate.

As a final result of this phase, a list of all the training demands resulting from the processing of the techniques applied was drawn up.

Concerning the implementation of the DNC at UBPC "La Unión" (Phase 4)

In order to determine the training gaps in the UBPC "La Unión", it was essential to consider the demands at the organizational level, the individual training needs expressed by the cooperative members and the requirements of Prodegan.

It was possible to verify that the PC had planned actions in correspondence with some of the UBPC's objectives, such as the increase of efficiency in mass management and the increase of forage areas; however, it was possible to verify that they did not take into account Prodegan's requirements regarding new technologies such as: intensive grazing models, rotation systems, silvopastoral systems, obtaining subway and surface water and reproductive management of the herd, as well as the management of the environment and natural resources. They also failed to consider training needs in agro-technology, agro-ecology and pharmacology for the treatment of the sick.

Based on the gaps identified, a proposal was drawn up for each area with the training topics that should be guaranteed in the cooperative (Table 2).

Table 2 - Proposal of training topics for each area of the UBPC "La Unión"

Area or department

Training needs

Micro cowsheds

Animal health
Agro-livestock technology
Gender equity
Animal feeding
Dough handling
Dough biosecurity
Milking routine and hygiene
Intensive grazing models
Quartering system
Increasing forage areas
Pharmacology for the treatment of sick animals

Administration office

Animal health
Agro-livestock technology
Cooperative management and leadership
Animal nutrition
Agroecology
Gender equity
Good environmental practices
Administration

Weaning Unit and Heifer Center

Animal health
Agricultural technology
Gender equity
Animal nutrition
Reproduction and genetics
Economic and financial management
Milking routine and hygiene
Dairy Biosecurity
Good environmental practices
Pharmacology for the treatment of sick people

Cooling center

Agro-livestock technology
Gender equity
Access to the purchase of inputs, services and equipment
Good environmental practices

Source: Data from applied surveys collected in table 1

These training topics were taken up by the UBPC board of directors to adjust the annual training plan for each of its areas.

As a reflection and in general, it can be concluded that:

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Gratitude is extended to the provincial coordinator of Prodegan, M.Sc. Oralmis Martin Hernández, for her invaluable collaboration, which made it possible to carry out this study. Likewise, thanks are extended to the board of directors of the UBPC "La Unión" for having made it possible to validate the methodological guide, product of this research.

 

REFERENCES

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Conflict of interest:

Authors declare not to have any conflict of interest.

 

Authors' contribution:

Amyrsa Salgado Rodríguez, Néstor Loredo Carballo and Zoila Madiú Quiroga Gómez carried out the conception and design of the study and the critical review of the article with important contributions to its intellectual content.

Claudia Tamayo Rosabal and Ricardo Morell Morfa performed the data collection, analysis and interpretation.

Amyrsa Salgado Rodríguez and Zoila Madiú Quiroga Gómez participated in the interpretation of data and prepared the draft (first version).

Amyrsa Salgado Rodríguez and Néstor Loredo Carballo reviewed the final version to be published.

All authors approved the version finally submitted.

 


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