ATI Accredits Extension Service Providers to Deliver Training and Extension Services

DILIMAN, Quezon City -- The Department of Agriculture (DA), through the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), recently accredited some private organizations as extension service providers to deliver extension and other complementary activities in line with its commitment in modernizing the Philippine agriculture.
As mandated by the Republic Act 8435, known as the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA), the ATI taps the services of the extension service providers from the rural-based organizations, cooperatives, non-government organizations (NGOs), people's organizations and multinational companies to provide agricultural training and extension services in the country. This is to improve and hasten the delivery of extension services of the DA and to provide opportunities and wider participation of the private sector as well in this endeavor.

Likewise, this kind of partnership will provide a variety of training programs and extension activities that the Philippine Government and the private extension service providers can offer to the agriculture and fisheries sector.
At present, about five private extension service providers are accredited by the ATI for this purpose. On the national level, ATI accredited the Development Center for Asia Africa Pacific (DCAAP), an international non-profit organization that aims to address the ever changing needs of the developing countries, and the Foundations for People Development, Inc.(FPDI), a voluntary consortium of NGOs that work together for a common goal to address poverty in the countryside.
At the regional level, ATI accredited the Negros Island Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development Foundation, Inc. (NISARD) in Dumaguete City, the Maranding Women Investors Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MWIMPC) in Lanao del Norte, and the Integrated Cooperative Towards Unified Service (ICTUS) in South Cotabato.
As incentives of the accreditation granted by the ATI with a validity of three years, these organizations shall be given some extension funds for their approved project proposals. The Philippine Government shall also provide some technical assistance when they seek the services of the DA particularly in availing some planting materials or fingerlings for their approved projects as well as in availing the agricultural and marketing assistance services.
Moreover, these organizations shall be given access to financial assistance through the identified lending institutions of the DA such as the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Quedan and Rural Credit Guarantee Corporation. They shall also be given access to ATI's capability building program and in the local and international scholarship and fellowship opportunities of the Department.
With this endeavor, ATI aims to draw more private organizations to be accredited as extension service providers to shell out their expertise on agriculture and fisheries and other aspects in agriculture so that more small farmers and fishers will benefit from this in the future. (Beatriz A. Yanga with reports from Evelyn D. Tagud)