DA-ATI holds Symposium-Workshop on Global Competitiveness for AFE Services

DILIMAN, QUEZON CITY --- Going globally in terms of dealing with other countries also calls for agriculture and fisheries extension (AFE) services.
This is in line with the mandate given to the Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) through Republic Act No. 8435 or the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA) of 1997. The law stated the need for the country's global competitiveness for the agriculture and fisheries sector to cope up with the increasingly globalized and liberalized marketplace.

With this, the DA-ATI, as the DA's extension and training arm, recently conducted the "Better Than Before: A Symposium-Workshop on the Global Competitiveness of Agriculture and Fishery Extension Services." The activity was participated in by the representatives of the various agencies of the DA who belong to the Agriculture and Fisheries Extension Network (AFEN), selected local government units and state universities and colleges.
The symposium-workshop aimed to identify ways to make extension services more effective and efficient in helping farmers increase productivity and competitiveness. The symposium covered topics such as the Agriculture Situation: ASEAN and Philippine Perspective; Concept of Global Competitiveness and its Processes through Supply and Value Chain and Food Safety and Quality Standard; Education and Extension as Key Elements of Competitiveness and Growth;and Policy Recommendation to boost the Competitiveness of the Philippine agricultural sector particularly extension services.
Dr. Mina T. Gabor, Former Tourism Secretary and President of the Philippine Small and Medium Business Development Foundation, came as the symposium's keynote speaker. She noted that Asia is now being looked into as a major player for investments, hence Philippines is already in the radar of such investments. She offered the idea of agri-tourism, wherein farmers will develop their farms as another site to entertain tourists and sell their products and other souvenir items as additional income.
Various topics on global competitiveness for agriculture and fisheries were presented by experts from the Foundation for the Advancement of Food Science and Technology, University of Asia and Pacific, DA- Economics and Policy Analysis Division, DA-Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service, DA-ATI and consultants from the private sectors.
The activity was held at DA-ITCAF Conference Hall, Diliman, Quezon City from October 26 to 27, 2010. (Beatriz A. Yanga with reports from Ma. Victoria L. Rivera, photo by Darwin D. Bibit)