A More Responsive and Dynamic Agriculture and Fisheries Extension Underway by 2011

Every ending is a promise of a new beginning – and as this year culminates, now is a great time to plan and look forward to another year with a fresh start.
LUBAO, Pampanga -- Holding close to its mandate as the prime agriculture and fisheries (AF) extension agency of the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) braces itself as it undertakes a paradigm shift in public extension.

Dubbed as “Pagbabago Tungo sa Matuwid na Daan – a workshop that is geared towards building a more responsive and dynamic AF extension in the country for year 2011 and beyond was conducted for the ATI management officials including its network of training centers and selected stakeholders. The main objective of the three-phase activity is to enable the participants to internalize the paradigm shift of the new AF extension and craft a five-year Extension Road Map based on a more holistic view of food security.

Specifically, the workshop is intended to orient the participants about the shift in programming framework of the country’s public extension.  Knowing that the improvement of the value chain’s efficiency is the key and agriculture extension is the major policy instrument for AF modernization, DA-ATI intends to bring about a new public extension that’s focused on organizing the key players in the value chain – the small farmers and fisher folk – based on their common interest and making them realize that systemic problems may be solved by working together.

Furthermore, this direction is not limited to the extension services of the Department but is applied to the all agriculture and fisheries programs and services in the country.  As such, in view of the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP), the various commodity sectors shall set their respective roadmaps based on its macroeconomic framework.  Being in charge of the AF extension of the Department, the ATI shall prepare the AF Extension Roadmap that further strengthens clientele’s participation and stakeholder’s investments in extension.
Phase I of the workshop for the national level was held last November 17 to 19, 2010 at Hacienda Gracia Resort and Hotel in Lubao, Pampanga. For Phase II, zonal consultation and planning workshops were set in Luzon on December 8 to 10, 2010 at San Mateo, Rizal, in Visayas on December 1 to 3, 2010 at Cebu City and in Mindanao on December 15 to 17, 2010 at Davao City.
The last phase will be part of the ATI's Annual Review and Planning Workshop which will be held in January 2011 at ATI Central Office in Diliman, Quezon City. (Yovina-Claire R. Agsawa)