Yap Pushes Strategic Plan Towards Harmonized Extension Services for A & F

Working out on harmonizing the extension services, extension programs, projects and activities of all bureaus and attached agencies of Department of Agriculture (DA), the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) as the governing extension institution led the formulation of a strategic plan to carry out extension services better.

The activity was a collaborative effort among the DA agencies and other partner agencies such as the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Agricultural Colleges Association of the Philippines (ACAP), Association of Private Agricultural Colleges and Universities, Local Government Units (LGUs), Rural-Based Organizations (RBOs) and other extension stakeholders. The crafted strategic plan is called as the National Extension System for Agriculture and Fisheries (NESAF).
The core strategies of such include improving clients’ access to agriculture and fisheries data; enhanced capabilities through capability building; enhancing governance of the agriculture and fishery extension; and improving partnerships in agriculture and fisheries.
The strategic plan aims to unify, innovate and create a dynamic extension delivery system that empower agriculture and fisheries’ clients to be progressive and globally competitive. Its mission statement is to accelerate the farmers’ and fisherfolks’ transformation into enterprising producers through an adequate delivery of knowledge products and services.
As stipulated on its strategic plan, “Under Republic Act 8435 otherwise known as “Agriculture and Fishery Modernization Act of 1997”, section 89 mandated the Department of Agriculture, through the ATI, its agencies and bureaus, in collaboration with the appropriate government agencies, to formulate a National Extension System for Agriculture and Fisheries (NAFES) composed of three subsystems, namely: national government; local government subsystem; and the private sector subsystem.
To effectively deliver extension services, the National Government ought to develop the Agriculture and Fisheries sector as stated in the AFMA. Section 2 states “The State shall empower the agriculture and fisheries sectors to develop and sustain themselves. Towards this end, it shall uphold the following goals:  poverty alleviation and social equity, food security, rational use of resources, global competitiveness, sustainable, people empowerment, and protection from unfair competition.”
Meanwhile, Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap already gave its go signal for the strategic plan’s execution and ATI intends to implement the key core strategies starting next year up to 2015. (Vic Thor A. Palarca)