ATI and the Philippine Agriculture and Fisheries Electronic Extension Program

With the onset of the age of communication and information technology 
(ICT), the Philippines together with the rest of world have been transforming
itself into an electronically enabled society. As early as 1997, the Philippines
laid down a policy framework that signaled the growth of the ICT industry and
diffusion into the life of the Filipino. 
The Information Action Agenda for the 21st Century of 1997 reflected the 
desire to modernize systems and operations development in the public 
sector. The Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (2001-2004) 
stipulated the maximum use of ICTs for the country’s development. This 
was further reinforced by the ICT  Strategic Road Map 2003-2006 which 
outlined strategic directions and specific projects to push information 
infrastructure development, electronic governance, e-business development 
and complementary human capital development in the country.
Several attempts have been implemented by various institutions, with goal 
of maximizing the benefits of the latest technologies to enhance their 
corporate services. This includes the Philippine Government’s initiatives 
to modernize its facilities to provide better service to the public.
One of the laws enacted in this pursuit was the Republic Act 8435 or the 
Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act of 1997 (AFMA), which 
mandated the optimal use of ICT in bridging research, extension, the 
farmer and the market.
As an immediate response, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and agencies 
under it initiated their own ICT-related services based on their mandate 
and specializations. These initiatives however led to a fragmented 
ICT-based programs and services. Therefore, to enhance the extension
delivery services and tapping the appropriate ICT technologies, the  DA
mandated one of its bureaus, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) to
integrate and harmonize he electronic extension services on agriculture
and fisheries which are being implemented by the various agencies of the
Department. In view of this, the ATI organized a network of institutions to
collectively provide an efficient and effective electronic extension system
for agriculture, fisheries and natural resources with end goal of attaining
a modernized agriculture and fisheries sector where farmers and other
stakeholders enjoy enhanced productivity, profitability and competitiveness
in the global market.
Thus, through the leadership and resolute efforts of Director Asterio P. 
Saliot, the e-Extension Program for Agriculture and Fisheries evolved, 
spread its reach and continue to change so many lives today.Athena B. Baguisi
Corporate Affairs Office(CAO)