ATI Launches Farmers' Contact Center; Aggie Secretary Yap as Keynote Speaker

TAGBILARAN, BOHOL -- The long wait is over. The Farmer’s Contact Center (FCC) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) with Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) at the forefront is here and ready to serve you.

Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap led the unveiling of the hotline numbers of the FCC and delivered a keynote speech during the launching on November 28, 2009 in Tagbilaran, Bohol.

The FCC is an alternative delivery channel in providing timely information and extension services. Through the FCC, people can inquire on agri-related concerns via  voice (call), short messaging service (SMS or text) as well as emails and other online communication such as instant messaging and fora.

The FCC can be contacted at 982-2474 (AGRI) for Metro Manila, 1-800-10-982-2474 (AGRI) for provincial toll free call and 0928-4990-965 for mobile users.
Inquiries can also be sent through text at 391-32 (DA) for SMART and TalkNText subscribers and  0928-4990-965 for non-SMART subscribers.

Also, FCC can be reached at info@e-extension.gov.ph

There will be three levels of support that will be made available to respond to the clients’ queries. Level 1 would be the Call Center Agents with agriculture background. These agents will answer the queries using the KnowledgeBase (KB), if the answer is not yet in the KB or if the agent doesn’t know the answer, the query will then be escalated to level 2. Level 2 is composed of experts from the DA agencies and institutions. If the query needs further probing and/or field and farms visit this would be referred to the level 3 experts. Level 3 experts are composed of agricultural extension workers (AEWs), agricultural scientists and from other institutions/organizations like State University and Colleges (SUCs).

The FCC is under the e-Farming component of the e-Extension Program of the DA. The e-Farming component features the delivery of farm and business advisory services through the use of the ICT. The service also includes technical advisory on agriculture and fisheries technologies and agricultural marketing assistance to the farmers, extension workers, in terms of making their farming a profitable enterprise.(Benedict C. Natividad)