ATI co-sponsors 2009 Phil Extension Network Symposium

PASAY, METRO MANILA -- To further build up its extension competency, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) takes part in the 3rd National Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry and Natural Resources Extension Symposium held at the Heritage Hotel, Manila on October 13-14, 2009.
Organized by the Philippine Extension Network (PEN), Inc, the symposium serves as a venue where extension professionals as well as extension community workers exchange ideas and experiences in addressing complex and diverse risks and issues in their field.  With this year’s theme, “Extension and Communication Innovations for Food Security: Focus on Communities in Transition”, it takes on the goals of: providing a venue of interactive sharing of experiences and lessons on extension innovations practiced in coastal, upland, peri-urban, rural and industrial communities in transition; analyzing constraints and opportunities faced by extension practitioners in communities in transition; and identifying extension research agenda to strengthen the platform for development of communities in transition.
This year's keynote speaker is Senator Loren B. Legarda, who noted that talking about extension and communication innovations for food security was very timely as the world is experiencing the effects of climate change. She further noted that "extension work is significant because it brings government to the people" and that agricultural extension must come up with strategies to address major concerns relating to globalization, which is much more than food security.
Because of her unwavering support to the advocacies of PEN as well as her significant contribution to the agricultural development of the country, PEN officers with Dr. Virginia Cardenas as president awarded Sen. Legarda an honorary lifetime membership for PEN.
Moreover, this year's symposium called for various research papers that focused on the following topics: a) Extension and Communication Innovations and Climate Change: Addressing Risks and Uncertainties in Communities in Transition; b) Food Supply Chain: Innovative Value Addling Systems and Extension Communication Services for Promoting Food Security and Well-being; c) Digital Options / e-Agriculture: Knowledge Management Implications for Extension Organizations and Workers; d) Good Extension Practices in Higher Education Institutions, Local Government Units, Non-Government Organizations and Other Institutions/Agencies.
For the plenary sessions, ATI Director Asterio P. Saliot, started off with his topic on “Global Agricultural Extension in 2010 and Beyond," followed by the “Public Forum on the Draft IRR of the President Executive Order No. 801 on the Adoption of the PCARRD Techno Gabay Program” by Director Richard Juanillo of PCARRD; and “The Challenge of Communicating Climate Change” by Dr. Felix Librero of the University of the Philippines. 
The highlights of the event was the awarding of the Outstanding Extensionists in the Subject Matter Specialist Category and in the Field Extensionist Category and the Outstanding Research Paper on Extension aside from the induction of the new set of officers and new members of PEN.
This year's PEN symposium was co-sponsored by DOST-Philippine Council on Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development, UP Los Banos, UPLB Foundation Inc., Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture, and DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research.
PEN, Inc. is a duly recognized national organization of extension professionals and practitioners from the academe, NGOs, local government offices and students advocating in the creation of venues for the continuing development of a cadre of morally responsible, competent, dedicated and self-directed experts in pursuit of advancing theory and practice of extension. (Yovina-Claire R. Agsawa with reports from Pamela Mariquita G. Mappala, ATI)
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