ATI Revs Up to Implement the Rice Extension Plan for a Rice-Self-Sufficient Philippines

LUBAO, Pampanga – Defined as capacitating communities with scientific knowledge and technological breakthroughs through training and education, agricultural extension is a vital yield-enhancing intervention in achieving the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) long-term goals for the country.
As the primary extension arm of the department, the Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) conducted a techno-forum for its Central Office staff on the DA’s Agri-Pinoy Framework and Rice-Self Sufficiency Program as it takes on the responsibility of making these interventions known to the local government and the agriculture and fisheries sector as a whole.

Assistant Director Evelyn Aro-esquejo noted during the opening program that "As ATI Family, we have to help others like our clientele by providing them trainings and give support to their needs to alleviate poverty among them."
With this, the activity aimed to assert the concept of full cooperation, common understanding and speaking the same language among its workforce from the lower ranks to the top management to be able to disseminate the significance of the program to its clientele.
As such, the forum was composed mainly of discussions on the Overview/Situationer of the Philippine Rice Industry; Rice Extension Road Map (2011-2016); and ATI Staff Roles in the Implementation of the Programs which were presented by Director Asterio P. Saliot. He likewise presented the Palay Industry Performace for the past years (200-2009), priority interventions, self-sufficency and palay production targets, target incremental production, among others.
In addition, Ms. Elsa Victoria of DA-ATI’s Training Center in Region III discussed the Natural Farming System – its components and impact on climate change.
The Rice Self-Sufficiency Program aims to warrant enough and affordable rice for all Filipinos by the year 2016.  The program targets to zero down rice importation and make the Philippines a 100% self-sufficient rice economy in three years time.
DA-ATI held the Techno-Forum on Agri-Pinoy and Rice-Self Sufficiency Program last November 5 to 7, 2010 at Hacienda Gracia Resort, Lubao, Pampanga.  (Yovina-Claire R. Agsawa and Beatriz A. Yanga)