ATI Strengthens AFE Policy Development with LGUs

PUERTO PRINCESA, PALAWAN ---  For effective and efficient implementation of agricultural extension programs and projects in the country, the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) recently conducted a training on policy development focusing on agriculture and fisheries extension (AFE).

The activity, entitled "Strengthening the Grip on Agriculture and Fisheries Extension Policy Development: A Training of Trainers," aimed to equip the ground and prime agricultural extension personnel on policy development in preparation to their role as extension service policy developers and providers for agriculture and fisheries.

About 50 representatives from DA- Regional Field Units (RFUs), Palawan Office of the Provincial Agriculturist and City Agriculture Office, ATI- Central Office and ATI Regional Training Centers participated in the lecture - discussion, small group workshops, plenary sessions and other relevant activities to make the training feasible.

The ATI, by virtue of Republic Act 8437 or the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act, is designated as the focal agency by the DA to provide national leadership in the integration and strengthening of the national extension system of the country. The Institute is responsible in the development and implementation of the National Agriculture Extension Agenda Program, the setting up of a national standard for extension and farmer`s training, the provision of counterpart funds to support the Local Government Unit in its extension facilities development and program implementation, and the formulation of agriculture and fisheries extension policies.

ATI Director Asterio P. Saliot was emphatic in his message during the opening program, encouraging the participants "to come up with a good policy on agriculture and fishery extension." He further noted that "my expectations are high for you to develop a better if not the best output or policy proposal which I will present to the DA Secretary in a forum that I will be attending soon."
                                                     
As another part of the training, the participants also visited some model farms of AFE projects in the nearby municipalities.

The training was held from September 26 to October 2, 2010 at Angela`s Farm Resort, San Jose Puerto Princesa, Palawan. (Beatriz A. Yanga with reports from Ma. Victoria L. Rivera and Darwin M. Sarabia, photo by Darwin M. Sarabia)