Republic of the Philippines       Department of AgricultureAGRICULTURAL TRAINING INSTITUTE
One of the most gratifying parts of our job at ATI is watching the success we have achieved in performing ourmandate. CY 2...
School-on-Air (SOA) Program                                              Amidst the existence of several multimedia for de...
Table 1. Number of Activities and Participants by Region                                                         No. of   ...
Technology Demonstration and Extension ProjectsFor this year, 24 technology demonstrations and extension projects were mai...
they have the opportunity to study college. Compounding the problem is the fact that existing agricultural highschools do ...
diligence to adopt modern farming technologies would be more than enough as capital and stepping stone tobecome successful...
Barangay, 3) Pay Forward, 4) Plant Your Own Seed and 5) Neighbor/Community Tree Planting Effort. Currently,there are 5,419...
The Strategic Plan for Agriculture and Fishery Extension was crafted to serve as a roadmap for success in theimplementatio...
contribute in improving sustainable peace and order condition in the project area. In preparation for this project, review...
Physical and Financial PerformanceThe table below shows the physical and financial performance of the Institute for the ye...
SUCCESS STORIESExtension Methodologies That Work, a Success Story                              “Do your best in whatever y...
Councilors in conducting consultations on the problems, projects and activities in their respective barangays. Since allth...
they start with the right cultural farm practices, Mangoda had to employ additional young workers from Molave,Zamboanga de...
Hurdling Obstacles and the TurnaroundBack then when Mangoda was starting off with his 20-hectare rice farm he had barely 6...
It was 1987 when Ellasus worked as a nanny to two children of an American widow in Singapore, leaving behind herfamily and...
The 175-page volume was published by the New York, USA-based International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech App...
had a master‟s degree in Agronomy and started with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA). She worked at PCA for10 years, ...
A few years later, the DA-FU 02 and ATI-RTC has chosen him as one of the first Farmer Leader Extensionists (FLE)for Goat a...
After getting married, his wife went back to work abroad while he thought of staying in their community and ventureon farm...
Ed as a Good Teacher of his Own Way.# (Jocelyn R. Dollente, June 23, 2008)------------------------------------------------...
And now, Isko is occupying a permanent position as Agricultural Technologist (Grade 10) earning Php 10,000 amonth. From th...
The making of a microbial activatorSaint drew inspiration from natural nutrient augmentation techniques developed in Japan...
Further, some organic fertilizers emit foul-smelling methane and ammonia as they further decompose. This happens          ...
He is an avid e-learner, having finished four online courses under the DA‟s e-Extension Program. Right now, he istaking up...
Myrna was brought up to a family whose source of liveloihood is dependent on sugarcane farming . Her family‟scontentment g...
Today, there are handful producers who are riding the „organicfarming‟ bandwagon, even if most of them are not actuallypro...
For them, going back to basics is indeed a positive means of returning good favor to mother earth. Besides, organicfarming...
Mayor Shirlita Y. Chong presently at the helm, the Office of the Municipal Agriculture in Liloan, Southern Leyte wastransf...
Ati 2011 annual report
Ati 2011 annual report
Ati 2011 annual report
Ati 2011 annual report
Ati 2011 annual report
Ati 2011 annual report
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Ati 2011 annual report

  1. 1. Republic of the Philippines Department of AgricultureAGRICULTURAL TRAINING INSTITUTE
  2. 2. One of the most gratifying parts of our job at ATI is watching the success we have achieved in performing ourmandate. CY 2011 was seen as both eventful and busy year for the Institute. Aside from its core, extension supportto commodity and special programs that were continued to be pursued, the DA has given the Institute additional andcritical tasks to implement extension interventions in support to the Organic Act of 2010.The Institute works in cooperation with the Local Government Units, State Colleges and Universities, Civil SocietyOrganizations and Private Sectors in the implementation of its programs through its network nationwide. Theseprograms are in support to the Food Staples Sufficiency Program of the Department of Agriculture anchored on theAgri-Pinoy strategic framework. These aimed to contribute to the Philippine Development Goals (PDP) 2011-2016,namely: improved food security and increased rural incomes, increased sector resilience to climate change impactsand enhanced policy environment and governance.ATI continued to focus its major efforts serving mostly the constituents of the 4th to 6th class municipalities andprovinces vulnerable to climate change impacts. Climate change adaptations interventions were mainstreamed in thecapacity building programs of the Institute to reinforce the advocacy on the ill-effects of climate change.ATI ProgramsIn 2011, the Institute was able to implement multifarious programs and projects aimed at helping achieve theobjectives of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP). The focus on capacity building initiatives to upgrade knowledgeand skills of the clients were the major accomplishments. The extension programs of the Institute were in support tothe National Rice Program, National Corn Program, National High Value Commercial Development Program, NationalLivestock Program, 4H Youth Club Programs, Organic Agriculture, Expanded Human Resource Development Programand other Foreign Funded Projects.I. Improving the Quality of Knowledge Products and Servicese-Extension Program for Agriculture and FisheriesFrom traditional training program characterized by face-to-face interaction to ICT-based interaction to suit thechanging needs of our clientele. This initiative gave birth to the Philippine e-Extension Program. To date, the Institutewas able to develop a total of 25 e-Learning courses, all offered in the site,wherein there were 4,096 enrollees in the courses and 2,804 graduates.Farmers’ Contact Center (FCC)Farmers access information by asking queries to the FCC. Likewise complaints and follow-ups on various programsand services of the DA were also being sent to the FCC. A total of 4,362 queries were answered through call and textand 5,511 queries posted through the shoutbox and discussion forum in the e-Learning site.Integrated Voice Response-Nutrient Management in RiceThe Farmers Contact Center (FCC) has expanded its services which now include the Nutrient Manager for Rice, apartnership between the International Rice Research Institute, Department of Agriculture through ATI and telecomservice providers Globe Telecom and Smart. The NMRice helps farmers and extension workers quickly determine thebest fertilizer management practice for a specific field or rice growing areas. Since its launching this year, there were7,056 calls received from 2319 unique callers throughout the country. 1
  3. 3. School-on-Air (SOA) Program Amidst the existence of several multimedia for delivering agricultural extension services, radio still waved its effectiveness through SOA. The conventional communication is still considered as one of the top effective means of disseminating technical information to the Institute‟s clienteles. A total of 13 batches of SOA were funded this year. About 2,498 clients were reached out with the updates of technologies through this program.Knowledge Products (KP) Development To provide access to AF knowledge and information to its clients, the Institute was able to develop eight information materials in print and video forms and reproduced a total of 376,000 IEC materials to the extension workers, farmers, fishers, women, youth, and other stakeholders in agricultural extension throughout the country. The Institute also provided KPs to the Farmers‟ Information Technology Service (FITS) Centers and to the regional training centers in support to their technical briefings/teknokliniks.Web visits/hitsSome 480,799 web visits/hits were registered at the ATI site, e-Extension site and all the ATI Network of TrainingCenters.Techno Gabay ExtensionFor the institutionalization of the Techno Gabay Program, a national and five regional consultations were conductedwhere issues and recommendations were gathered as an input to the formulation of Guidelines on the FITSEstablishment. The Institute finalized the IRR of the EO 801 and for signing by Secretaries of the Department ofAgriculture, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Interior and Local Government and theCommission on Higher Education.II. Enhancing AFE Stakeholder’s CapabilitiesTraining and Extension Support ServicesThe Institute through its network of training centers nationwide conducted a total of 1,855 trainings and otherrelated activities such as scientific visits, consultations, briefings, workshops and others, serving various 132,950clients. (Table 1) These extension services were in support to the improvement of rice, corn, livestock and youthprograms which aimed to contribute to the Food Staple Security Program of the Department of Agriculture. 2
  4. 4. Table 1. Number of Activities and Participants by Region No. of No. of ATI Center Training/Activities Participants CAR 152 10,041 1 142 9,680 2 122 8,194 3 100 5,901 4A 105 8,062 4B 95 6,275 5 122 8,840 ITCPH 83 1,891 6 221 14,384 7 80 6,422 8 141 10,057 9 85 5,523 10 89 11,146 11 66 4,369 12 92 5,385 CARAGA 93 10,556 ARMM 40 4,966 Central Office 27 1,258 Total 1,855 132,950With these activities are the different types of client beneficiaries served such as farmers, extension workers, youth,entrepreneurs, students, and other target beneficiaries. As reflected on the pie chart, farmers topped the list ofparticipants followed by LGU extension workers and other LGUs personnel. As shown in Fig. 2, Rice program has thehighest number of individual trained followed by HVCDP, 4-H and Others.Fig. 1 Trainings Conducted by Type of Participants Fig. 2 Percentage of Individual Trained by ProgramWith the mainstreaming of gender and development in the Institute‟s programs to promote women empowerment, aslight difference in the attendance was observed between male and female categories where women clientscomprised 41% as against 59% of the male clients. Fig. 3. Participants by Gender 3
  5. 5. Technology Demonstration and Extension ProjectsFor this year, 24 technology demonstrations and extension projects were maintained to showcase updatedtechnologies on specific commodities serving 1,292 clients nationwide. The technology demonstration and extensionprojects were focused on the following: Sorjan farming, vegetable and off season vegetable production,diversified/integrated farming, resource management for sustainability, dragon cactus production and management,aerobic rice production, drip irrigation for HVCC, mist irrigation for HVCC, pomology project, vermi-culture productionand composting cum urban gardening and organic chicken production.Farm Business Advisory SystemsThe Institute continues to provide direct technical assistance to walk-in clients registered a number 2,273 and served5,812 individuals nationwide. These farms advisories were focused on: RBO Development, Marketing-related,Feasibility Study/Project Proposal preparation and Provision of Techno Base Information.Education SupportYouth for Agriculture and Fisheries Scholarship Program (YAFP)The Institute continued to support its 480 enrolled scholars from its original target 343 (first batch) nationwide. Theprogram gives priority to the youth from the poorest families and children of farmers. Hopefully, they will finish theircourses by 2013. This program proves to have an impact to the youth as indicated on their testimonies.Expanded Human Resource Development Program (EHRDP)The EHRDP program involves the provision of quality education and training on science and technology to acceleratesocial progress and promote total human development. A total of 88 MS grantees and 23 PhD have availed thedissertation and thesis assistance. The Institute also funded non-degree courses both local and international,observation tours and other study grants aside from thesis and dissertation. For the year, there were a total of 53scholars from the Local Government Units and SUCs had completed their MS degrees in various fields. EHRDP scholars who graduated in their MS degrees in Region 10Ladderized Course for the Out-of-School YouthThis program aims to address the pronounced poverty in the rural areas which hinders many rural youths frompursuing higher education and even employment opportunities. Even if the youth finished secondary education, theyare not yet prepared for the world of work. Hence, agriculture plays an important role in rural areas where careermodels even as a farmer is wanting. It is just unfortunate that many college bound students see no future inagriculture. This is because even farmers themselves discourage their children from pursuing agriculture degrees if 4
  6. 6. they have the opportunity to study college. Compounding the problem is the fact that existing agricultural highschools do not offer much option. This is because of a standardized secondary curriculum that does not offerlivelihood skills relevant to the needs in rural communities. This therefore bring to fore the need for a program thatallows hands-on agriculture education with special focus on entrepreneurship and farm management.Thus, the Institute in collaboration with the People‟s Foundation for Development and Meralco Foundationimplemented this ladderized course program which started in 2010. Currently, there are 31 youths who are enrolledin this two year course and will graduate this year on the course in Agri-Business Enterprise.III. Broadening AFE InnovationsLearning Sites/School for Practical AgriculturePhilippine Map The School for Practical Agriculture (SPA) is a scheme wherein the farmers will be CAR trained as trainer/extension worker in the community and his farm lot will develop as a demonstration area or practical learning sites in the community. Eventually, it will be used for micro-teaching for other farmers and out-of-school youths especially those who are enrolled in a ladderized course in Agribusiness enterprise. After fully REGION 5 trained as trainer/extension worker, the farmer will act as community extension worker, with support from ATI, perhaps LGU and other partners. REGION 6 The farmer trainer will also receive financial assistance to develop his farm lot as REGION 7 CARAGA demonstration/hands-on-learning sites which will later on form part of the practical REGION 12 schools for agriculture. After extensive capacity building in farm entrepreneurship, the farmer trainer will be encouraged to take competency certification tests from TESDA. His/her farm lot will also be certified as practical learning site. Members ofthe network of practical agriculture learning sites will soon be opened to visitors as part of an advocacy to promotethe idea of “Farm Tourism”. By promoting Farm Tourism, the SPA learning sites will later on become AGRI-ECO-TOURISM spots where actual agricultural activities can be witnessed and learned by the visitors. It will also set theinclusion of community activities to show the beauty of agricultural landscape which can attract hands-on-practice forstudents, educational tours for local government officials, extension workers and even researchers. Currently, thereare six SPA sites established in the country: CARAGA, CAR, Region 5, 6, 7, and 12.In addition, the Institute together with the Foundation for People Development takes the lead in establishing theFARMS SCHOOL Network to support the training program for farm entrepreneurs.Empowering Barangay Agricultural Workers (BAW), Barangay Agricultural Livestock Aide (BALA)The institute helps BAWs by providing capability enhancement training through the TOT on Extension DeliverySystem and other techno-based training and technical assistance in the formulation of action plan for their demofarm based on the FFARMS concept. The Institute also collaborated with the Office of the Provincial Veterinary incapacitating the BALA to deliver responsive livestock extension services particularly in Bohol province.Adopt a Farm Youth ProgramThe institute in collaboration with Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Unit (DA-RFU 1) and Young FilipinoFarmers Training Program in Japan Alumni Association (YFFTPJAA)-Region 1, in partnership with LGUs transformingthe out-of-school youths from farming communities in the country into skilled, modern young farmer-entrepreneurs,success of the project will redound to the benefit of the agriculture sector as a whole as it will encourage the youthto look at farming as a very profitable business and competitive career to pursue where patience, perseverance and 5
  7. 7. diligence to adopt modern farming technologies would be more than enough as capital and stepping stone tobecome successful individuals.IV. Strengthening Partnership in Advancing Excellence in Extension DeliveryThe Institute had accredited private sector as extension service provider to reach out to more clients and providequick response to the needs of the clients. The following were the accredited ESPs: ICTUS, Meralco Foundation,Aloha Farms, and Foundation for Peoples Development, Development Center for Asia Africa Pacific (DCAAP). It alsopartnered with Earthkeepers, Bangon Kalikasan, A.L.A.G.A. Lahat Foundation, Heifer International projects,Foundation for People‟s Development Incorporated (FPD), Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), Departmentof Agrarian Reform (DAR) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in local convergenceinitiatives.Life-insurance for farmers and agricultural extension workersThe Institute in collaboration with Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation through its Memorandum of Agreementprovides insurance not only to crops but the coverage also include the provision of insurance protection to themembers of rural-based organizations trained by the ATI nationwide under the PCIC‟s Accident and DismembermentSecurity Scheme.DA-TESDA, forge partnership to enhance competency of extension workersThe joint venture between DA through the ATI and TESDA aims to standardize, coordinate and improve the systemimplementation of agricultural skills development programs geared towards achieving agricultural development in thecountry.V. Enhancing AF Capacities in Climate Change Adaptation and AnticipationCapacity BuildingOrganic AgricultureOne of the major programs which enhanced the capacities in climate change adaptation and mitigation is theimplementation of the capacity building on Organic Agriculture in support to Food Staple Sufficiency Program of theDepartment of Agriculture. A total of 11 trainings and other related activities were funded which benefitted 346extension workers, farmers, etc. These trainings were on TOT on Organic Agriculture and Training of Trainers onIntegrated Control System for Organic Agriculture.ATI Tree for Life, Food for Life This project is in response to the global call for action to undertake adaptation measures for climate change. ATI being at the forefront of advocacy and campaign towards sustainable development makes it more imperative for this social contribution complementary to existing environmental conservation initiatives. Besides that, we can help beautify our rural communities, provide additional source of income and food, as well as make people aware of the multiple benefits of trees and their role in helping fight climate change. This is composed of Components 1) Adopt a Forest, 2) Adopt a 6
  8. 8. Barangay, 3) Pay Forward, 4) Plant Your Own Seed and 5) Neighbor/Community Tree Planting Effort. Currently,there are 5,419 number of fruit and forest trees planted.VI. Improving the Quality of Agriculture and Fisheries GovernanceContributing to the PDP Goal 3 on Policy Environment and Governance, the Institute has conducted andinstitutionalized activities aimed at strengthening further capacities. Trainings on Functional Systems Program andBudget for the AFE AND mini workshop on Budgeting, workshop on "Pagbabago Tungo sa Matuwid na Daan: Buildinga More Responsive and Dynamic AF Extension in the Country" for DA and non-DA agencies were implemented.Assessment and planning workshops on Extension Programs in Support to Rice , Organic Agriculture, 4-H YouthDevelopment Program, EHRDP and other programs, AFMP formulation, continuous monitoring of programimplementation and other interventions were conducted.Policy and result evaluation studies were also conducted. Specifically, the Institute conducted the following policystudies in collaboration with State Colleges and Universities: a) An Assessment of EDS on the Postharvest Sector:Focus on Fruits, Vegetables and Cutflowers b) Appraisal of Extension Personnel in Selected Agricultural Institutionsand Local Government Units I in CALABARZON c) Evaluation of Organic Farming Training Programs in CALABARZONd) Assessment of Foresty and Agricultural Extension Systems of State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) in Region 2.Hopefully, results of these will help in coming up with Policy recommendations to improve Extension delivery servicesin the country.Likewise, the Institute conducted a result evaluation study on training on Farmers‟ Field School on PalayCheckSystem.The study aimed to:1. Determine the degree of application or adoption of the PalayCheck System;2. Assess the increase in yield through FFS on PalayCheck System;3. Determine the relationship between adoption of PalayCheck and yield;4. Determine the relationship between selected demographic characteristics to the practices of PalayCheck System;5. Describe client satisfaction on the services of the Office of Municipal Agriculturist; and6. Identify problems/factors affecting the application of PalayCheck System and suggested solutions.The study revealed the following findings:  Farmers are receptive to adopt Palaycheck System  There is a highly significant linear relationship between yield/harvest before FFS and after FFS and the key checks practiced.  Each kg/ha of yield before FFS is associated with an increase of 0.0969 kg./ha in yield after FFS .  Each key check practiced/adopted is associated with an increase of 163.617kg/ha in yield after FFS.  There is a higher proportion of “high yield” among males than females.  There is a higher proportion of “full adoption” among males than females.  There is a higher proportion of “high yield” among “college” respondents than among those with lower educational level.  There is a higher proportion of “full adoption‟‟ among “college” respondents than among those with lower educational level.  There is a higher proportion of “high yield” among owners than tenants.  There is a higher proportion of “full adoption” among owners than among tenants.  Among the OMA services, a higher proportion of farmers are dissatisfied with the number of agricultural technicians (ATs) extending services on rice and frequency of visit by the ATs in the barangay.  Among the problems met by the farmers in the practice/adoption of palaycheck, incidence of pests, diseases and rats were the most frequently mentioned. 7
  9. 9. The Strategic Plan for Agriculture and Fishery Extension was crafted to serve as a roadmap for success in theimplementation of the country‟s extension services. This will help provide direction and focus for all the constituentsinvolved in making the shared goal be realized.Corporate Planning Workshop was also conducted which aimed to formulate its corporate Plan which will be insupport to the Agriculture and Fisheries Extension Strategic Plan.Enhancing the capacities of the ATI personnel nationwide was also conducted to equip them to deliver qualityservices to their clients. Various training programs were conducted.Gender and Development InterventionsEmpowering the women is one of the priority areas of the Institute. Programs and activities to improve women‟saccess to and benefit from agricultural development, expand the economic opportunity through micro-finance andenhance women participation in nation building were implemented during the year nationwide. About 666 clientsbenefited from the agricultural farm employment and non-rural farm employment opportunities provided by theInstitute through its livelihood and skills training programs. The Institute allocated an amount of Php 2,997,250.00from the MOOE which is about five percent (5%) of the total allocation.Foreign Funded ProjectsPhilippine Adaptation Climate Change Program The Institute was also involved in a World Bank funded project -Philippine Adaptation Climate Change Program of the Department of Agriculture where ATI teams-up with the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) in Program Sub- Component 2.2: Enhancing delivery and effectiveness of extension services for farm-level climate risk management. The Institute was able to formulate the training modules for the Trainers‟ Training and Climate Field School with inputs from the CFS graduates and extension workers of LGU Dumanggas, Iloilo. BSWM, NIA, PAGASA, ATI, PCIC also provided inputs for the enhancement of the two (2) modules. Irrigated Rice Production Enhancement Program ATI was also involved in Irrigated Rice Production Enhancement Program under Component 3- Provision of production inputs and related support services of the RAFPEP project. For this year, the Institute through, its regional training centers in Regions 8 and 10, had implemented Training of Trainers and Farmers‟ Field Schools for IAs. A total of 70 extension workers were trained and 42 FFS conducted that benefitted 1,331 farmers.Assistance Project for Capacity Development towards Farm-Family Centered Agricultural Extension SystemProposal on Technical Assistance Project for Capacity Development towards Farm-Family Centered Agricultural ExtensionSystem is now on the pipeline pending the approval of the Extension Bill.Malitubog-Maridagao (Stage II)The Institute also facilitated the implementation of the Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation Project II (MALMAR II). The goal ofthe project is poverty reduction through sustainable agricultural and social development and contributes to sustaining peacein the project area coverage within the provinces of Cotabato and Maguindanao. The specific objectives are; a) to increasehousehold income, b) to improve living condition of farmer beneficiaries in the area, c) to ensure food sufficiency, d) to 8
  10. 10. contribute in improving sustainable peace and order condition in the project area. In preparation for this project, reviews ofthe implementation plan and operations manual of MALMAR were conducted.Capacity Building of Small Scale Farmers on Market Access and EntrepreneurshipThe Institute had collaborated with the United Nation‟s Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO) in its projectentitled “Capacity Building of Small Scale Farmers on Market Access and Entrepreneurship” in collaboration with theDA-Agriculture and Marketing Assistance Service. This was designed to make small Filipino farmers competitive byimproving their knowledge and skills in farm business management. The project is proposing for a US$ 408,939funding from FAO. A technical expert from FAO had already made his initial mission during the last quarter of theyear.Central Philippines Rural DevelopmentThe main objective of this project is to increase income of targeted small farmers and fisherfolk, increase farmproductivity, institutionalize community-based mechanisms to conserve/restore and sustainably manage naturalresources, increase resiliency of the target areas to the risks of climate change, strengthen capacities andpartnerships of DA, LGUs and other participating agencies/beneficiaries and other stakeholders and lastly, enhancepolicy environment and governance.Funds by ProgramFor the year, the Institute received an amount of Php 523,205,025 for the implementation of its programs in support to themarching orders of the Department of Agriculture. Of the total budget, Organic Agriculture registered as the highestprogram funded in 2011. This was followed by the Rice commodity and 4-H Club Youth Development Program. Funds forEHRDP, Regular, HVCDP, RBO, FSTP, Corn and Livestock followed in a descending order.It also received a total amount of Php 240,000 for capital outlay from the Rice Program and Regular Program. Theseallocations were used for the repair of buildings and purchase of vehicles to be used for its operations especially in theregions. 9
  11. 11. Physical and Financial PerformanceThe table below shows the physical and financial performance of the Institute for the year 2011. The performance of theOrganic Agriculture was below 50% of its physical targets because the budget was only released at the middle of the year.Catch-up plans were designed to implement the remaining interventions on the early months of 2012. PHYSICAL FINANCIAL PROGRAM PERFORMANCE PERFORMANCE (%) (%) REGULAR 104.26 99.76 RICE 103.19 91.93 ORGANIC AGRICULTURE 44.79 64.55 CORN 122.22 106.22 HVCDP 100.68 92.81 LIVESTOCK 128.57 67.65 4H CLUB YOUTH DEVELOPMENT 112.14 83.99Problems and RecommendationsOne of the major obstacles in the implementation of programs both at the ATI Central Office and ATI TrainingCenters was the lack of manpower due to non-filling up of vacant positions. This was remedied by hiring of JobOrders and multi-tasking of staff. 10
  12. 12. SUCCESS STORIESExtension Methodologies That Work, a Success Story “Do your best in whatever you do. Work not only for money. Those who do their best will profit the most and will earn favor from the Lord” said Mr. Gilbert Cawis, Municipal Agriculturist of Tabuk, the premier town of the Province of Kalinga. He was recognized as the outstanding Municipal Agriculturist of the Cordillera Administrative Region in 2000 and 2002. Mr. Cawis, said that agriculture mainly rice farming is the main industry of Tabuk. Thecultivation of Hybrid Rice which his office has greatly promoted, contributed much in the attainment of Tabuk as afirst class municipality with an income of 86 million pesos in 2004. “Hybrid Rice has helped significantly in theeconomic upliftment of the life of the farmers and seed growers” quoted Mr. Cawis. Since 2001 when it was firstintroduced by Philrice, about 70 million metric tons were already produced by the seed growers from about 700hectares of land. From an average yield of 100 cavans per hectare in 2001, it has now increased to an average of150 cavans during the wet season and 160 cavans during the dry season. Barangay Madupdop, which is nowpopularly called as “Barangay Hybrid” nationwide, maintains an almost 90% production of Hybrid rice among itsfarmers is found in Tabuk.Another project that the Municipal Agriculturist established with the Local Government Unit as financier is TabukAgro- Food Center. Mr. Cawis showed us the nearly seven hectare techno demonstration and production farm onfish hatchery , Kabir chicken, goat, piggery, fruit tree nursery, rice, corn and vegetable seedling. The fish hatcherywith an initial funding from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of CAR is dispersing Tilapia fingerlings tofarmers of the town and nearby municipalities. Close to 200,000 fingerlings were dispersed since 2000. The eggs ofKabir chickens are incubated and later, the chicks are dispersed to rural-based organizations like the 4-H Clubs andRural Improvement Clubs.One more project that Mr. Cawis supervises is the Seedling Nursery on “Gayunan” Oranges. This is a 70 squaremeter project located in Barangay Magnao at the upland areas of Tabuk. It is now producing 6,000 seedlings ofGayunan to be planted by the upland farmers. The project aims to introduce high value crops to augment theirincome from upland rice and rootcrops. Gilbert, as Mr. Cawis is fondly called explained that in order to inform, advertise and let the people accept the various projects, he and his staff had to use various extension methodologies and approaches. Aside from the usual farm and home visits to individual or group of farmers, they also use “techno-demo by example”. In this method, the Agricultural Technicians (AT) assigned to handle the project have to work hand in hand with the farmer in doing the farm activities like land preparation, seed soaking and sowing,data collection, crop cutting and field days among others.Ms. Marcelina Saquing, outstanding Agricultural Technologist and one of the staff of Gilbert said that one of thecontributing factors to the success of rice production in the municipality is the institutionalization of the FarmersField School (FFS). A regular amount is integrated in the agriculture budget to buy the needed agricultural inputs,supplies and materials, and to conduct the farmers‟ field day. Furthermore, she said that outstanding farmergraduates of the FFS serve as resource persons during the classes and their farms are used as show windows.According to Ms. Saquing, the farmer-to-farmer approach is very effective in encouraging the hesitant farmers toadopt to new farming techniques.Another strategy mentioned by Mr. Cawis is the conduct of barangay consultations. This is a regular yearly activityheld to a cluster of barangays where the heads of the different offices of Tabuk join the municipal Mayor and the 11
  13. 13. Councilors in conducting consultations on the problems, projects and activities in their respective barangays. Since allthe concerned offices are represented, immediate action on their concerns is being addressed.Agriculture trade fairs and achievement days are held yearly during the foundation day of the town. This isanother methodology identified by Gilbert. Activities include booth competition, search for the “pinaka” crops, searchand awarding of outstanding farmers, fisherfolks, rural-based organizations and extension workers. Other contestsinclude coffee drinking, rice cake eating, horseback and carabao riding, pig catching, dressing the chicken andcooking. Winners of the various contests are given trophies or cash incentives by the municipality.Finally, Mr. Cawis reiterated that there is no single extension method that can cause the successful adoption of thetechnologies. A combination of methodologies and strategies is being applied by him and his staff. Furthermore, thesincerity of the extension agents counts a lot, he added. Mr. Cawis is married to the former Ms. Sonia Bugtong, aregistered nurse at the Kalinga Provincial Hospital. They are blessed with 4 children; one of them is already agraduate of Environmental Science and is now employed in a private firm. The rest of his children are still in collegein Baguio City.# (Cristino E. Balancio, ATI RTC-CAR, July 23, 2008)---------------------------------------------------Pursuing a New CauseExcept for few prominent figures, most of the low-profile Muslim rebels who once fought during the height of theMindanao uprising in the „70s simply faded away after rejoining the mainstream society. They have virtually gone tooblivion; away from public eye as if they never existed before. For them their only option was to live a secludedprivate life. They did not have the academic credentials; nor popularity to back them up, much less the political cloutto vie for coveted positions in the government. Good for other comrades-in-arms who made their way in via thebureaucratic route; they ended up working for the system they once challenged. In turn, they are now enjoying allthe perks that normally come with the juicy positions they hold.Sadly but such stark contrast is a disincentive for self-effacing rebels who are coming back to the folds of law afterlong years of struggle and hardship. Even if they were used to life of deprivation they too have all the right topursue a respectable means of livelihood to sustain a new civilian life. Otherwise existence would still be asmiserable as they were in the days of the rebellion. These are the people who are supposed to be getting allavailable support and attention from the government. If only these people are given the means with which to startafresh, they too can be equally productive and are able to do significant changes to improve their lot.Such is the story of former MNLF rebel commander turned farmer-leader who is now pursuing comfortably twoseparate livelihood projects in the municipalities of Maguing and Bubong, Lanao del Sur. Mangoda Hadji Salam maynot be as prominent as his other peers in the MNLF who were among those involved in the first waved of Mororebellion in Mindanao. But surely his exploits as rebel-commander was something legendary among the local folk inthe area where he used to operate. More than his war adventures, he was better revered for his compassion andconcern for his men‟s well-being. In fact, he had only his family and his men as the primary consideration for finallyquitting the rebellion after 14 years fighting for the MNLF cause.A Shift of VisionIn 1987, soon after he left the organization, he embarked into rice farming in Pagalungan, Maguing. With 20hectares he inherited from his old folks, he started off a modest endeavor with nothing but loyalty of his 12 formerMNLF men helping out push the operation. It is for this gesture of allegiance that Mangoda treats them as membersof family endeavor rather than his paid laborers.In the early outset he had only a carabao to sustain his budding farm operation. Not before long his son-in-law‟sparents had to lend out their tractor to be able to cope up with the demands of a growing farm endeavor. To ensure 12
  14. 14. they start with the right cultural farm practices, Mangoda had to employ additional young workers from Molave,Zamboanga del Sur, a place where farmers with long proven experience in rice farming may be hired.Motivated by the initial success, Mangoda expanded the area of his farming operation. With the meager earnings hesaved over the years, he managed to expand by 20 hectares more out of the adjacent idle land he bought. The landhad to be cleared from thick weeds before cultivation must be introduced. What used to be an abandoned wastelandthen gradually turned into a verdant field for food-crop production. By then, Mangoda was already operating a totalof 40-hectare compact farm of hybrid and inbred rice. Still not content with what they were getting, Mangodadiversified their farm endeavor; this time on poultry and goat raising. They also went into vegetable production.They even opened up a 900-sq. meter fishpond. These undertakings were established merely as complementarysupport livelihood projects. Operations of the livelihood projects would normally step up only during off-season whenrice production was at its low.Discovering the PotentialsThe fruit of their labor did not come that soon. From 1987 to 2000, they relied heavily on rice mill operators in thelocality. But just when their labor started paying off and farm operations were making headways, some foreignfunding agencies took notice of their achievements. One among the first agencies to visit Mangoda‟s project site wasGEM-ELAP. GEM-ELAP representatives personally came to propose an offer of assistance. Mangoda could hardlyrefuse GEM-ELAP‟s offer because the assistance being proposed were grants. The initial grants came in the form ofcash and farm implements aimed at upgrading and intensifying the farm operation. The cash amount of some Php200,000 was to be used to purchase work animals. Not much longer, more assistance came in virtually in closesuccession. Mangoda was also a recipient of cash assistance from the GOP-UN ACT for Peace Programme. Grantedto him was a cash amount of Php 100,00 for the purchase of additional unit of tractor and thresher. Each unit of thistractor and thresher cost Php 42,000 and Php 50,000, respectively. With the assistance coming in like manna inheaven, Mangoda and his men were all the more driven to strive harder. Cognizant of Mangoda‟s unusual resolveand leadership to attain great success, GEM-ELAP came with even more generous offer but cautious at grantingadditional fund assistance for their projects. To top it all, Mangoda was granted Php 520,000 for rice milling facilityand a solar dryer installed in Pagarungan. With the necessary facilities at his disposal, Mangoda handles practicallyall the post-harvest processing of his rice produce. They need not spend an additional cost for transportation andmilling services as they used to do before.While he had the comfort of milling his own palay, he was also earning an income from his drying and millingbusiness operations. As operation of the rice mill and solar dryer went full swing so was their income for the servicesof the facilities picking up. This ushered in the opening of another 20-hectare rice farm in Bubong, a 20-minute ridefrom his farm in Maguing. Convinced by what Mangoda and his men were capable of, the Food and AgricultureOrganization (FAO) joined the bandwagon to extend technical assistance designed at modernizing post-harvestoperations. Thus, established in his farm in Bubong was another rice mill valued at P650,000 and a 400-sq metersolar dryer. Over time Mangoda became recipient of assistance in record proportion. What could be the magic wordwhy assistance came practically in fast succession? “Commitment,” was Mangoda‟s brief answer. In short, what hepromise to his benefactors he does without excuse. Now in his possession are 5 tractors, 4 threshers and 2 solardryers, courtesy of GEM-ELAP and gop-un. to this day, all these equipment and facilities are still in top shape, everready to be serviced when the need arises. His men who take care for the repair and maintenance of these units lookover them with utmost concern knowing the hassles it may cause them once they start breaking down.Also instrumental in upgrading Mangoda‟s farm operation was the Small Water Impounding Project (SWIP) whichprovided inputs and sprayers. The provincial DAF-ARMM of Lanao del Sur contributed as well in terms of seeds andtechno-transfer. On the other hand, ATI-Regional Training Center, ARMM and FAO took charge of the skillsenhancement and capability building of Mangoda‟s farm workers by way of training interventions. 13
  15. 15. Hurdling Obstacles and the TurnaroundBack then when Mangoda was starting off with his 20-hectare rice farm he had barely 60-70 cavans of palay harvestper hectare. It was also at this time they were always at the mercy of rice millers who had the ultimate say of theprice for their grains. Once the grains reached the market Mangoda would not be surprised if rice traders backtrackfrom earlier commitment. Mangoda would be left with no other alternative but wander around to look for othertraders willing to discuss middle ground terms where price was acceptable to both sides.Mangoda may not have the management expertise or the degree to efficiently run his business affairs but takes prideat saying that he is always in control of everything. Yet when situations so require, he would not hesitate consult hismen even if decisions rest on him. Sheer determination and common sense is Mangoda‟s trademark of management.When asked how he handles matters relating to workers‟ grievances, Mangoda was quick to say that he is alwaysopen to discuss reasonable terms with them and take appropriate decisive action without unduly compromising goodrelations. Mangoda also pointed out that he is strict on imposing policy against fomenting internal differences. Hesays that enmity among workers destroys the organization. That is why he takes extra vigilance on any telltale signsof impending conflict and act on them with dispatch. He knew his men better than anybody else, Mangoda quips. Hewas with them as far back as in the days of their insurgency movement. This explains why occurrence of such natureis almost non-existent. Besides, if ever differences do occur between workers there is Pagalungan Farmer‟sAssociation to take care of them. The association which he helped organized has an initial membership of 19 farmworkers mostly former MNLF fighters.Worse among the problems Mangoda wants to avoid is the occurrence of pest and disease outbreak. But like allother farm operators, pest and diseases are natural phenomenon they just have to contend with. However, theyhave their way of controlling it to bring the destruction at the minimum. But still, in 2008 they experienced one of thelowest rice productions ever recorded in recent years of their farm operation, Mangoda sadly notes.Despite all adversities they went through, Mangoda and his men came out triumphant. By and large, rice productionrose consistently by almost every passing season. In recent years this has gone by as much as 120-140 cavans ofhybrid rice per hectare. At 47 kilos per bag, the average total yield is placed at 6.5 metric tons a hectare. But in spitethe dramatic turnaround Mangoda is humble to admit that credit for such success is not exclusively his. His familyhas always been the source of motivation and support; his men for their dedicated labor. And how could he evermiss to mention Camilo Barambangan, Agricultural Technologist of Maguing. Mr. Barambangan has been mostinstrumental for the improvement of their production. Mangoda and his men have much to learn from him on hybridtechnology. But special recognition is due the different agencies for such outpouring of assistance without which allthis achievements would not have come to reality.Mangoda and his men‟s collective achievements should be recognized as their invaluable contribution towardsrebuilding a transformed community. His brand of leadership typifies a noble deed of shared sacrifice for theattainment of vision. To his former comrades-in-arms similarly situated, this should convey an important messagethat nothing is lost after laying down ones‟ arms; not their identity, nor their ideals. It simply is a start of a newjourney - a journey with prospect for better life.# (Marcos A. Maglinte, Jr. ATI RTC-ARMM, May 5, 2010)---------------------------------------------------OFW-turned-farmer now biotech heroRosalie Ellasus has dabbled in many different fields. From working in medical technology, to becoming an OFW, thena farmer, and finally a leader and speaker giving testimonials on her success, Ellasus has truly crossed manyboundaries and hurdled many obstacles to become what she is today. 14
  16. 16. It was 1987 when Ellasus worked as a nanny to two children of an American widow in Singapore, leaving behind herfamily and medical technology profession. Two years later, she moved to Canada where she again served as anursemaid to a Canadian couple‟s twins. While in Canada, she immersed herself in other fields that could improve herintellectual capabilities.In 1992, she returned to Singapore where she landed a better-paying job as a market executive. Unfortunately, herhusband died so she decided to return to the Philippines to take care of her sons.Yet another transformation came when she turned to farming, particularly production of biotechnology corn, agenetically modified crop that has a built-in defense mechanism against destructive corn pests.From her savings as an OFW, Ellasus bought a 1.3-hectare farm and tried producing corn. But aflatoxincontamination, as well as pests and weeds that reduced her yield, made it impossible to sell her produce.Unfazed, Ellasus attended a 16-week Integrated Pest Management-Farmers Field School on corn conducted in 2001by the Department of Agriculture. From the seminar, she changed her farm practices and, after seeing ademonstration farm on biotech corn, she decided to adopt the technology. She sold her bountiful biotech cornproduce to feedmills and the corn husks to local craft producers because these were flawless and sturdy.Subsequently, she expanded her farm to six hectares. “I was truly convinced that a marginal farmer can improve hislife only if he will adopt biotechnology,” Ellasus asserts. She has since become one of the country‟s successful GMcorn producers.In 2006, she was elected president of the prestigious Philippine Maize Federation (PhilMaize), a national associationof corn farmers‟ cooperatives. She was also elected municipal councilor of San Jacinto, Pangasinan in the 2007elections.Ellasus shot to global prominence when she was chosen in 2007 as the first recipient of the Kleckner Trade andTechnology Advancement Award, named for Truth & Technology (TATT) chairman Dean Kleckner, an internationallyknown farmer-leader.The award is given for “exemplary leadership, vision and resolve in advancing the rights of farmers to choose thetechnology and tools that will improve the quality, quantity and availability of agricultural products around the world.”Ellasus was commended for using biotechnology to solve the production challenges on her farm.Over the past two years, she has also been invited to speak at the Des Moines Roundtable Discussion on AgriculturalBiotechnology in Iowa, USA; Minneapolis Conference of the Western Canada Wheat Association; a conferencesponsored by Mexico‟s Department of Agriculture; and a farmer‟s forum in Medan, Indonesia.When Peruvian and Vietnamese government officials and scientists visited the Philippines recently, she was tapped toshare her experiences in biotechnology farming. She is also often invited as resource person in Philippine forums onbiotechnology.Now 49, she is featured in a book together with 64 other trail-blazers in biotechnology crop production in 14countries in Asia and Africa.The book, entitled “Communicating Crop Bio-technology: Stories from Stakeholders,” documents how farmers, mediapractitioners, policymakers, industry representatives, scientists, academicians, religious leaders, and students havebenefited from science communication efforts and how in turn they are now part of the process of realizing acollective voice on crop biotechnology. 15
  17. 17. The 175-page volume was published by the New York, USA-based International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA).Edited by Dr. Mariechel Jamias-Navarro, ISAAA Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology manager, the bookcontains 49 articles from stakeholders (farmers, media practitioners, policymakers, scientists, academics, religiousleaders, industry representatives and students) in 14 countries in Asia and Africa.Aside from Ellasus, the other Filipinos featured in the book are former UP president Dr. Emil Javier, now president ofthe National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST); multi-awarded journalist Melody Aguiba of Manila Bulletin;Dr. Edita Burgos, wife of the late press freedom fighter and icon Jose Burgos Jr.; Dr. Cynthia Hendreyda, a professorand scientist at UP Diliman; Edwin Paraluman, a successful corn farmer from General Santos City, South Cotabato;and Fr. Emmanuel Alparce, former executive director of the Social Action Center in Sorsogon and now vice rector ofthe Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica in Guam.Each of those featured in the book is an important figure in his or her field – a field that Ellasus has tended to, bothliterally and figuratively.She says, “Here in the Philippines, many farmers are not proud of their job. I want to see them shine. I‟m just asmall candle, but even the weakest flame can spread fire.”# (Rudy Fernandez, The Philippine Star, April 10, 2009)---------------------------------------------------From Simple Re-Entry Plan to a Successful LGU Project It was my first time to meet Arlene (because I was on study leave when she attended the Trainers‟ Course in 2004). Instantly, I felt that she is a very fun-loving and cheerful woman and that she has charisma to work with people. No doubt when we visited one of her clients, Mrs. Helen Soriano immediately recognized Arlene and was happy to see her. Mrs. Soriano is the dispersal coordinator and No. 1 Barangay Kagawad of Amungan, Iba, Zambales. She works closely with Arlene in the implementation and monitoring of the dispersal project ofthe Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) in the area. According to Mrs. Soriano, “the dispersal project started in 2002 with only 20 piglets. Now, we have 115 piglets dispersed in the barangay. So far, there is no problem in marketing the animals but we do have 30-40% non-repayment among members”. To solve the problem, the PVO provided an incentive scheme for the organizations to ensure proper collection among members. “We give a certain amount to the organizations as collection fee which they can add to their funds. We go to the different organizations, farmers or fisherfolks for the dispersal project. As such, we are assured that collection would be properly carried out and on time”, Arlene pointed out. Furthermore, beneficiaries are given lectures onproper pig management before they are given the animals.The dispersal project was the brainchild of Ms. Arlene Gutierez, an alumna of the National Trainers‟ Course on PigHusbandry in 2004. “When I was sent for training to ITCPH, my boss requested me to make a proposal for therehabilitation of PVO‟s dispersal project. We had a big problem with the collection of debts since the 90s. Honestly, Idid not like the idea because I do not know anything about pig production”, she related. But something happenedduring the course, the training changed her mind. Arlene said, “I gained confidence because of the knowledge andskills I got from the training. I learned the trades of pig production. I am one of the lecturers on pig production”. She 16
  18. 18. had a master‟s degree in Agronomy and started with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA). She worked at PCA for10 years, and transferred to the Provincial Veterinary Office where she is doing a very good job as an extensionist.Presently, the dispersal project has spread to other barangays in Iba, Zambales. Barangay Amungan is the pilot area,but the project spread to Sta. Barbara and Palanginan.After the training, she did not only rehabilitate the dispersal project but also applied what she learned from ATI-ITCPH in her own pig farm. She constructed an 8-sow level at the back of their house in a land planted with mangotrees. Together with her husband, Gabriel Gutierez, they ventured into pig production. Because of agri-farming, theywere able to buy a new car and build a house for Arlene‟s parents in Pampanga. They are now building a fishpondnear the pig farm for tilapia raising.Mrs. Soriano has this to say about Arlene, “she readily helps us whenever we encounter problems with our animalsand regularly she visits us. May she continue the good work that she had started”.# (Liberty O. Inciong, ATI-ITCPH)---------------------------------------------------My Goats, My Pet... My Wealth!Despite of his many successes in life, Mr. Josue Balderama is still a simple and unassuming man. He never displayedhis talents and gifts. Mang Josh is a happily married man who draws his inspiration and strength from God and hisfamily.He started his farming venture in Ballesteros in 1978 upon his return from Hawaii. His involvement with the LivestockIndustry started in 2003 when DA –RFU 02 convened a meeting of small ruminants raisers and enthusiasts. Themeeting organized a group in the province of Cagayan promoting the development of the small ruminant sector byincreasing the goat and sheep population. In return, to be a good source of added income to farmers.To show his commitment to the industry, he established a modest goat farm as a livelihood project and showcasesthe potential of the small ruminant industry in the valley. He first enclosed one hectare with closely-planted liveMadre de Cacao and divided into ten (10) paddocks. Each paddock was planted with Napier grass that gives thehighest herbage yield. Afterwhich, he bought his foundation stock. He converted his cattle barn into goat pen withelevated flooring using indigenous materials like bamboo. Despite some difficulties in raising goats, his technical skillsand passion for goats, paved the way for his success in the production of quality offspring which were often soughtby goat breeders and would-be goat raisers Luzon-wide. This led to his unanimous election as President of theCagayan Small Ruminant Raisers Association (CASRRA) from 2003 to present.Mang Josh is one of the first graduates of the Cycle-long Training on Integrated Goat & Sheep ProductionManagement Strategies which was conducted by DA-RFU 02 and ATI-RTC in 2003 to 2004. It was in this training thathe learned the appropriate management practices inherently needed in raising small ruminants. As the trainingwinded up, the participants visited progressive goat farms in Nueva Ecija, Batangas and Laguna, as well as theparticipants‟ farms. These visits widened his horizon of what small ruminant industry is.The DA-RFU 02 then accredited him as a multiplier farmer for purebred goats in recognition of his reputation as oneof the best goat and sheep raisers in the valley. He believes that sustaining an efficient goat feeding managementsystem and integrated parasite control coupled with the use of genetically superior animals are the keys to optimumprofits. The goat population was increasing that warrants an increase in pasture. So he added two (2) more hectaresmaking the enclosed area to 3 hectares in all. Farmers began to take notice and many visited his farm. Hedemonstrated the rotational grazing method and pointed out its advantages in the control of gastro - intestinalparasite and a higher stocking rate. It was at this time that he was granted a Fullblood Boer buck under the BuckLoan Program of DA-RFU 02, which he used in upgrading his herd. 17
  19. 19. A few years later, the DA-FU 02 and ATI-RTC has chosen him as one of the first Farmer Leader Extensionists (FLE)for Goat and Sheep Production in Cagayan in recognition of his innovative and pioneering activities in the community,and willingness to share his expertise to other raisers, farmers and stakeholders in Cagayan Valley. As an FLE, MangJosh selflessly shares his expertise on goat and sheep production to anybody who seeks his assistance andvolunteered his goat and sheep farm as venue for farmers‟ classes, educational trips, learning field for practicumstudents from various schools in Cagayan Valley and the neighboring regions. He is often invited as resource speakerduring livestock production seminars conducted in Cagayan, Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya.Likewise, CVARRD conferred him as Magsasaka Siyentista for Small Ruminants. Mang Josh has always been invited torepresent the livestock sector in regional and national forums and as a Livestock Show Judge during Goat & SheepShow Competitions. CVARRD took notice of his achievements in the small ruminant industry, and nominated his farmto PCARRD as site for the Science & Technology–Based for Slaughter Goats under the Techno Gabay Program. Therewas no hesitation on his part for he believed "it was a rare chance to showcase my goats, my wealth, adream that came true, he expressed. "The farm has helped in making goat production a means for relaxation and acommercial activity.” Mang Josh said.As an outreach project of the Cagayan Breeding Station – Farmers Information Technology Station (CBS-FITS) underthe Techno Gabay Program of the CVARRD Consortium, more than 30 goat farmers in Barangay Nararagan and theadjacent villages attend the monthly Farmers Class on Goat and Sheep Raising. Visitors keep coming to his farm asfar as Asingan, Pangasinan and Bicol. Buyers from Bangui, Ilocos, Nueva Vizcaya, Cagayan and Apayao have boughthis Boer kids to improve the genetic make up of their goats. Now, Animal Science students from various campuses ofthe Cagayan State University (CSU) and other SCUs have come to learn more about his goats.Last March 28, 2008 a Field Day on the Production of Quality Slaughter goats was successfully conducted toshowcase the progeny results of the first F1 kids (23 weanlings) of Mang Josh. He and the CVARRD Consortiumcomposed of DA-RFU 02, ATI-RTC, ISU, CSU and other member-agencies were more than elated due to theoverwhelming participation of farmers and other guests. No less than the PCARRD Executive Director, Dr. PatricioFaylon and DARFU 02 Regional Executive Director, Dr. Gumersindo Lasam, Dr. Edwin Villar and Dr. Ed Magboo wereamong the 366 participants. The participants were so eager to buy the weanlings, however, disposal shall only beundertaken when the kids reach the marketable/slaughter age of 8 months. Mang Josh is so excited to harvest hispets as an added wealth. The weanlings gave him a remarkable positive return on investment (ROI). He looksforward to a significant profit that will contribute to the continuous development of the goat industry in the regionand nationwide.With his successes, he silently helps the indigent children get through school. One way to contribute to his dream “tomake the world a better place to live”.# (Claris M. Alaska, ATI RTC-II, June 5, 2008)---------------------------------------------------A Teacher in His Own WayEd is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at Central Luzon State University in 1985. After graduation, helanded a job in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where he worked in a vegetable and poultry farm. There, he met his lovablewife, Rosella, who was then working as physical therapist. Love was developed between them and decided to settledown when they had their vacation in 1990.He was indeed a very ambitious man that earning only US$ 400 a month was not enough for him to live a better life.However, he was able to save an amount to humbly start farming.Ed in a Critical Decision 18
  20. 20. After getting married, his wife went back to work abroad while he thought of staying in their community and ventureon farming.Longing for a child, he convinced her wife to go back home and build their family. Rosella, her lovely wife had agood job in a hospital in Jeddah. It was a critical decision whether or not to leave her job, but love is stronger thananything else that she never rejected her husband‟s request. She gave up her job and supported her husband. Itwas a right decision that they were blessed with three bright children. All their children are performing excellently intheir schools.Ed as a Dynamic FarmerFarming for Ed was not a triumph at the start. His first attempts did not give favorable yields. He was only harvestingless than 80 cavans per hectare. However, he was not discouraged to go farming, instead, he tried to analyze theeffect of every cultural practice and did experiments to increase his harvest and lessen the cost of production.In 1997, he joined the IPM Kasakalikasan training where he learned the right farming practices without dependencytoo much on chemical application. Then, he observed improvements by adopting IPM principles and followed therecommended farm practices and technologies in rice production. He practiced less chemical spraying until headopted 90% no chemical spraying. That was the time, he begun to yield 100-120 cavans per hectare in a croppingseason.Ed as a Top YielderIt was in 2002, when the hybrid rice was promoted. They tried the Meztiso hybrid rice in their community. It waswet season that his fellow-farmers‟ farm was hit by the bacteria leaf blight (BLB). Fortunately, his farm was sparedbut his harvest was discouragingly too small. To him, it was a challenge, he did it again during the dry seasons, untilhe bagged the top-yielder award. He won as the Top Yielder Farmer in Hybrid Rice Timpalak Angat Ani at Kita(HyTAK) sponsored by the Office of Provincial Agriculture-Nueva Ecija Provincial Government and Department ofAgriculture – Regional Field Unit III in July 19, 2004.Ed as a Farmer-Leader ExtensionistProven as a deserving farmer-leader, he was nominated to participate in the Farmer-led Extension by theCabanatuan Agro-industrial Cooperative Office (CAICO). He passed the interview. Then, he was trained as Farmer-leader Extensionist (FLE) in June 13-15, 2005 (Phase I). Ed had diligently finished the required Phase II of theFarmer-Led Extension course in 2005-2006 cropping season.In a joint project of Agricultural Training Institute and DA-Regional Field Unit III, the trained FLEs serves as partnerof Agricultural Extension Workers (AEWs) in disseminating and educating the farmers on new technologicalinnovations and interventions towards rice-self sufficiency and food security.Ed has begun his mission as Farmer-leader Extensionist in his community. After two-seasons of performing his role,he received his Certificate of Training as a full-pledged FLE.To increase more his knowledge, he attended in Five-day Basic Training on Rice Seed Production and Accreditationon February 18-22, 2008 which was collaboratively conducted by the Agricultural Training Institute-Regional TrainingCenter III, DA-Regional Field Unit III and Bureau of Plant Industry-National Seed Quality Control Services. Hislearning was also imparted to his fellow-farmers to produce their own seeds, select good quality seeds and userecommended seed varieties. 19
  21. 21. Ed as a Good Teacher of his Own Way.# (Jocelyn R. Dollente, June 23, 2008)---------------------------------------------------To Dream...and why not?A farmer turned Agricultural Technologist, Francisco Agonia or “Isko” dreamed of becoming a full-pledged extensionworker, and why not? Naturally gregarious, vibrant and extroverted person with a deep sense of commitment toservice. Isko is now included in the pool of resource persons of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) ofLaguna disseminating technology on rice production to various types of clientele: farmers, agricultural technologistsand local government officials.Year 1996 when he was invited to attend a Farmers Field School (FFS) in Barangay Masapang, Victoria, Laguna. Iskowas then a third year Bachelor of Agricultural Technology student at the Laguna State Polytechnic College, Siniloan,Laguna and at the same time cultivating a two-hectare rice farm. He was still single then and a budding farmer. Hisfather was his inspiration to take up the said course and venture into farming business at a very young age. Withoutsecond thought, he rushed to the training site and actively participated in the said activity which was a jointundertaking of the OPA and the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) in Los Baños.A year after his graduation from college (1998) and faced with the challenges of a family man, meager income tosupport his wife and children, he applied at the OPA as a laborer on a casual basis earning Php 200.00/day or aboutPhp 4,400/month. He was responsible in maintaining the demonstration plots of the said office and accomplishingtasks assigned by his supervisors. August of that same year, he was informed that an additional participant wasneeded to fill-up the slot for Laguna province in the Season-Long Training of Trainers for Agricultural Technologistswhich was held at Nasugbu, Batangas and the ATI-Los Baños was the lead implementing agency. The fulfillment ofthat dream is getting to be eminent, everything was falling into place. An opportunity that might come once in alifetime and supervisors giving full support and trust, how can you let it slip away!Four months of rigorous training, withstanding the pain of being away from the family, Isko continue to struggle andstayed focused on his dream. With much enthusiasm, immediately after the training, he conducted FFS in threeselected barangays of Laguna. It was in one of his FFS classes that he came across a farmer, “Ka Frino” who reallytested his patience and knowledge on rice production. Ka Frino applied pesticides every other week since he wantedto make sure that his rice plant will grow and yield as much as 280 cavans for a three-hectare lot during dry seasonand 240 cavans during wet season or an average of 93-80 cavans per hectare. Thus, the farmer was spending aboutPhp 12,000 per cropping season for insecticide application. Now is the time to prove to Ka Frino that pesticideapplication is the last resort if all other cultural and biological strategies failed.Isko took it as a challenge and an opportunity. He was willing to risk his own personal money just to convince KaFrino not to spend too much on pesticides. He challenged Ka Frino not to apply pesticides in his farm for thatparticular cropping season and that he will pay the farmer Php 40,000 equivalent to forty cavans of palay if thefarmer‟s yield will decrease by not applying pesticides. The demonstration plot that he established in that barangayserved as an effective show window of all technologies that he was introducing during that time including IntegratedPest Management (IPM). October 14, 2000, harvest time, Ka Frino came back to him and gladly said the good news!He was able to produce 280 cavans of palay without any money spent for pesticides. What a relief and a greatsatisfaction! It ended up with a treat by the farmer to Isko at a nearby food chain store. This is the most rewardingpart in the life of an extension worker. Changing lives and making dreams come true! Again, another opportunityknocked at his door. After a year, he was sent by his supervisor to Munoz, Nueva Ecija to attend a Rice SpecialistTraining Course on Hybrid Rice sponsored by the PhilRice. Then came series of Technical Briefings on Hybrid Rice forthe province of Laguna. 20
  22. 22. And now, Isko is occupying a permanent position as Agricultural Technologist (Grade 10) earning Php 10,000 amonth. From the initial 108 farmer graduates of his first three batches of FFS, it ballooned to as many as 3,000farmer graduates all over Laguna province from 100 FFS focused on Hybrid Rice Production and IPM. And a lot moreis still in the offing. Always on the go, maintaining his vibrant and positive outlook in life and so truly blessed withtwo children, a supportive wife who is an elementary school teacher, a newly built house and with an eight-hectarerice farm and of course a stable job, Isko is now a fulfilled man. Some people dream of things and ask why? ForIsko, he dreamed to become a full-pledged extension worker and said to himself, why not?# (Mariel Celeste C.Dayanghirang, ATI RTC-IVA, June 5, 2008)----------------------------------A forward-looking agriculturist and extension worker GUINOBATAN, Albay -- Sitting in the path of typhoons and tropical tempests that form over the Pacific and cross the Philippines, Masbate battles low per capita income and political squabbles in some areas. These conditions make extension service particularly challenging for local government workers such as Vincent Flores of Aroroy, Masbate. The island province, however, is emerging as a strong agricultural producer in the BicolRegion. Masbate rises to prominence in the national agriculture landscape as Anthony Suguitao of Aroroy becomesthe 2011 Gawad Saka Outstanding Young Farmer.Producing vegetables and livestock, the Cabangcalan 4-H Club President proves that with technical supervision of theMunicipal Agriculture Office (MAO), farming makes profits. He prepares organic fertilizer using locally producedmicrobial inoculant, guided by Aroroys 4-H Club coordinator Mark Anthony Salacup and Vincent Flores whodeveloped the inoculant.Vincent and Mark Anthony also teamed up to guide another 4-H member, Imelda Sanggo of Barangay Tigbao inAroroy, to bagging awards. Using Vincents modified organic fertilizer formulation made from materials abundant inAroroy, Imelda won during the Bicol Rural-Based Organization (RBO) Forum and 4-H Regional Achievement Day heldat DA-RIARS, Pili, Camarines Sur. She got the fourth place in the organic fertilizer preparation contest in the 4-HNational Convention held in May 2011 at Davao CIty.Going organicA graduate of the University of the Philippines at Los Baños (UPLB) where he formally studied organic horticulture asa BS Agriculture student, Vincent initially worked with organic fertilizer companies.His interest in organic agriculture developed rich roots with his exposure to the Agri-Aqua Network International(AANI) Agri-Kapihan where he met Zac Sarian and other advocates of sustainable agriculture. Over DWWRs Agri-Kapihan, Vincent discussed organic fertilizers and microbial activators of organic fertilizer companies.Two years ago, he became an Agricultural Extension Workers (AEWs) in his hometown in Aroroy and starteddeveloping microbial activators using locally available resources. He sidestepped the problem of limited funds bypreparing the inoculant at home."Saint" to friends and co-workers, Vincent believes that organic agriculture -- or at least reduced use of syntheticfertilizers and pesticides -- is the sensible way to grow food. Based on this basic principle, Saint strove to change hisclients concept of organic compost microbial activators from being highly specialized and expensive to easy andaffordable. 21
  23. 23. The making of a microbial activatorSaint drew inspiration from natural nutrient augmentation techniques developed in Japan, Korea and the Philippines,including effective microorganism (EM) and indigenous microorganisms (IMO). However, he wanted the rawmaterials to be locally available, thus he focused on seaweeds. BioMix uses lactobacillus to simultaneouslydecompose plant cellulose and remove odors. Indigenous microbes further enrich the compost. High-enzyme fruits,trashed fish, and extracts from vermicast and seaweed comprise the liquid sweet-smelling inoculant.BioMix creatively combines good microbes and enzymes. The activator effectively hastens composting. It alsofertilizes crops and removes harmful microorganisms.Saints trials at home and at work have shown BioMixs practical uses. The liquid is diluted in non-chlorinated water (chlorine kills the good microbes). As a foliar fertilizer, it produces healthy orchids and vegetables, particularly in organic farming and organic hydroponics. Sprayed on canals, pigpens, poultry house, and wastewater, it removes foul odors. The microbial activator in powder form is excellent in fermenting kitchen waste through layer-by-layer application. One pack is enough for 300 kilos of organic waste. During the first two weeks, the compost heap should be completely covered to keep away flies and control moisture content. The compost, within 2 to 3 days, turns dark and emits steam and smoke as it undergoes decomposition.BioMix: a multi-taskerThe Aroroy local government unit (LGU) vermicomposting projects use BioMix to ferment organic matter in 1 to 2weeks so that the vermi can consume it easily.Left photo shows heap of market waste to be composted at the Municipal Environment and Natural Resource Office(MENRO). Center, the composted market waste two weeks after applying BioMix. Right, BioMix is also applied onbeddings of the no-wash pig technology project.BioMix also makes organic fertilizer safe to use. Without inoculants of good microbes which overpopulate harmfulmicroorganisms, decomposed material may carry disease-causing microbes such as Escherichia coli that harm plants,people and animals as what happened in Germanys E. coli outbreak which resulted from improperly decomposedorganic fertilizer used on vegetables. 22
  24. 24. Further, some organic fertilizers emit foul-smelling methane and ammonia as they further decompose. This happens when organic matter reabsorbs moisture which speeds up the process of decomposition. With BioMix, Saint wants to make safe, fully decomposed, odorless organic fertilizer in as little as 1 to 2 months depending on the material used. Its prospects are so promising that FILMINERA, a gold mining company in Aroroy, is doing trials on the activators uses in pollution control and compost production. Thusfar, the trials show that BioMix produces compost in 3 weeks to 1 month. Kitchen waste decomposes fastest, whilewood chips and crushed plywood fully decompose within 2 months. Trials also combine BioMix-processed pigpenbeddings and pig manure -- waste products of the companys no-wash pig community project -- with the organicfertilizer to up its nitrogen content.Saint plans to further study the combined efficacy of the inoculant and vermicomosting in removing heavy metalsfrom crushed wood crates and reducing the volume of waste materials.In addition to FILMINERA, loyal users of BioMix include employees of the Aroroy local government unit (LGU). Theytoo have learned from experience that BioMix has many practical uses outside agriculture.In slaughterhouses, it removes the odor of decaying carcasses within seconds as good microbes overpopulate theputrefying bacteria. It removes foul odor of urine in toilets, and harmful microorganisms in bathwater. Smelly feet,after soaking in lukewarm water with BioMix and a little salt, become odorless. Users have found that the inoculantspowder form, when sprinkled on dog manure, controls flies and the foul odor.BioMix smells predominantly of rice bran, the medium where the microorganisms grew. It is safe enough to mix withfeeds and handle with bare hands. It is dried so well that the microbes are dormant and it can be used even a yearafter opening.Continuous learningScience aficionados know that knowledge continually grows. Saint wants to do more tests to further identify thespecific microbes present in BioMix. He wants its shelf life extended by using thicker polyethylene bags and vacuumpacking to remove air and moisture. Undeterred by the work this must entail, he is looking at seeking support fromagencies involved in research and development (R&D).Saint would have sought scholarship under the Department of Agriculture‟s (DA) Expanded Human ResourceDevelopment Program (EHRDP) if not for failing short of the required two years‟ government work.This does not deter the determination of the young agriculturist-researcher. Relentless, like a parent nurturing achild, Saint hopes to make BioMix the subject of his research in post-graduate studies, particularly its use in organichydroponics. At home, he has set up his own snap hydroponics unit which he prefers as it saves on electricity as wellas promotes recycling and urban farming. Having studied hydroponics at UPLB Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB), headopted IPBs technique of using boxes of imported fruits. Saint now hydroponically grows lettuce and othervegetables.He is also working on the LGUs project on nutrient film technique (NFT) hydroponics using aerator.Saint has even developed a composting brewer that farmers can easily use. Requiring only 24 to 36 hours aerationto extract the nutrients, the farmer can produce his own vermitea from vermicast, molasses, and water.Characteristically, Saint takes each opportunity to learn. 23
  25. 25. He is an avid e-learner, having finished four online courses under the DA‟s e-Extension Program. Right now, he istaking up online courses on corn and vanda, corn, vanda, bamboo, and vermicomposting despite sluggish internetconnection in Aroroy.More importantly, he is a learner who practices what he learns. Saint is concerned over the effect of foods on humanand animal health, which explains his deep-seated support for organic agriculture. He studies the practicalapplications of indigenous health-promoting plants. Once an idea or a task interests him, he persists in realizing ituntil the end result satisfies him.The same goes for his work as an extension worker, apparently.Saint sees the predicament of Masbate, being an island province: technological growth happens at snail pace, andexperts in agriculture are scarce.Saint, however, is happy to be working in Aroroy -- that is, if the end result satisfies him. What will indicators for himto know he is where he ought to be? Saint readily answers: a fund for agricultural research, and good researchimplementation. Saint hopes that the municipal agriculture office will put up its own a laboratory, to conduct location-specific research. Saint believes extension should be backed by good research results.Now 28, Saint has two more years before he turns 30 years old -- the age he thinks he needs reassess his personaland professional growth.Reasons to have hopesHe sees hope, however, for the governments agricultural extension efforts with Secretary Proceso Alcala steering theDA helm. He has high regard for the Secretarys emphasis on sustainable agriculture. Saint believes that a farmerusing organic methods can produce vegetable crops, do composting, raise farm animals, and earn 10,000 pesosincome per month from a 1,000 sq m-farm.Anthony Suguitao of Aroroy, the 2011 Gawad Saka Outstanding Young Farmer, has proven the profitability ofintegrated farming with guidance from Saint and Mark Anthony Salacup, Aroroys 28-year old 4-H Club coordinator.Saint notes that Aroroys Municipal Agriculture Office has shown the organic agriculture advantage, thanks to thePalayCheck farmer field schools (FFS). Following the 20 x 20 cm planting distance, recommended fertilization,integrated pest management (IPM), and application of vermicast together with inorganic fertilizers in their rice fields,farmer cooperators produce very high yields. Using NSIC Rc158, the 1.5 ha-production area produced 195 bags at 50kilos per bag.Saint completed a cropping season-long Training of Trainers (TOT) on PalayCheck System sponsored by ATI-Bicol in2009.Our new generation of agriculturists expose themselves to new knowledge and techniques. Like sponge, they giveout what they have using combinations of techniques that suit local needs and resources. In Masbate, in Bicol, andelsewhere in the Philippines, we need more forward-thinking agriculturists such as Vincent Flores.# (Primalou B.Imperial, ATI RTC-V, November 21, 2011)-----------------------------------------------Myrna Reyes Story: Successful Hybrid Corn Farmer in Western VisayasMyrna Sumagpao Reyes is a corn farmer from Barangay Agtabo, Passi City who garnered the award as RegionalQuality corn Winner initiated by the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit VI. 24
  26. 26. Myrna was brought up to a family whose source of liveloihood is dependent on sugarcane farming . Her family‟scontentment goes with the rsing prices of sugarcane and oftentimes however, her parents are discouraged by thefluctuating sugarcane industry.Not one from among the members of her family took interest in pursuing her father‟s interest in farming. NeitherMyrna, who took up a civil engineering course. For her, taking up a non agricultural course would free her from theremote barangay where she grew up. However, Myrna is not destined to become an engineer because of her earlymarriage to Val Reyes, her college pal. And now, she did not regret staying behind with her husband and ninechildren in Barangay Agtabo.Myrna who is suffering from thyroid cancer was inspired to till the land which her father had given her after sheattended a Farmers‟ Field School Training conducted by the Agricultural Training Institute-Regional Training CenterVI, Department of Agriculture Reg. Field Unit VI and the Local Government of Passi City.She converted her five-hectare sugarcane land to hybrid corn applying the technology she learned from her training.In four months duration, Myrna gained three times more of her income in sugarcane. Motivated by this scenario,Myrna encourage other farmers in their barangay to divert their farming practice from sugarcane to hybrid cornfarming. Now, Barangay Agtabo is considered a corn producing area in Passi City.Succeeding trainings on IPM-FFS Corn were conducted in Barangay Agtabo by ATI-RTC VI and other partneragencies because of the increasing number of farmers who had shifted to corn farming. Myrna‟s strategies inconvincing other farmers were very simple. Primarily, corn farming for her is a family enterprise. Every member inthe family is involved in all farm activities from land preparation, planting, management and harvesting. Second, shebelieves in continuous education. Myrna attends training and seminars to enhance her knowledge and skills. Third,she serves as model farmer in her barangay by showcasing the technologies she learned from her trainings andseminars in her own farm. Myrna is a great influence to her constituents. Her average production has reached to 6.4tons per hectare. Myna is an IPM advocate because she wanted to preserve a chemical free environment. She applies organic fertilzer in her farm which is also bing followed by other farmers in their barangay. Being a Regional Quality corn winner, Myrna was awarded by the Department of Agriculture with a mechanical drier and corn sheller which has benefited many corn farmers in their barangay. Her income in corn farming is more than enough to sustain her medication and sendher 9 children to school. Indeed hardwork and sacrifice coupled with education and training can make a personrealize her dreams.# (Nicolasita G. Gallego, ATI RTC-VI, July 28, 2009)-------------------------------------------Organic farming, the CASABUT way Almost everybody knows what is organic farming and its benefits. Organic farming is all naturally produced and simply going back to basics. No synthetic chemical inputs and genetically modified organisms that will influence the growth of crops. According to, organic farming has re-emerged as the outcome of consumer reaction against harmful toxins and the desire for more health and environmental safeguards. 25
  27. 27. Today, there are handful producers who are riding the „organicfarming‟ bandwagon, even if most of them are not actuallyprotecting the earth‟s resources. But there are others as wellwho are really into this practice.When CASABUT-OFS farmer-members heard about theachievements and testimony of their farmer-member, Mr.Florencio Gentallan. The group was encouraged to try suchkind of endeavor.Why CASABUT-OFS?CASABUT is an acronym that stands for Cabawan, Agahay, San Roque, Aliguay, Busao and Toril. All barangays fromthe municipality of Maribojoc, Bohol. OFS moreover, stands for Organic Farming System.The organization was conceptualized last April 10, 2007 by Mr. Florencio Gentallan, former MAFC Chairman, JoseCyril Lobregas, the current President of Bohol Organic Farmers‟ Alliance (BOFA) and Manuel G. Jayectin, TrainingSpecialist II of ATI-RTC 7. Apart from these, their main reason of organizing is to enhance the farmer‟s learning so that they can replicate it to other farmers. Thereby, ATI-RTC 7 conducted season-long trainings like KASAKALIKASAN IPM from June to October 1997 (Level 1), followed with System of Rice Intensification (SRI) Farmers‟Field School July to October 2003 (Level 2) and Rice-based Organic Farming Systems: A Farmers‟ Field SchoolApproach (ROFA or Roquenian Approach), - Level 3, CY 2006 – 2007.With the inputs, the farmers formally adopted the technology on organic farming system.To strengthen their started endeavor, the members agreed to have the organization registered to the Department ofLabor and Employment (DOLE) in which their registration was granted last September 24, 2008 with RegistrationNumber 3959.CASABUT-OFS todayThe organization indeed has so much to offer. Aside from their individual farms, in which, each farmer had anaverage 0.7 hectare tilled. Their host venue, barangay Cabawan had a Crop-Livestock Integration project whichserves as a model farm for all the members of the Organization.Last May 18, 2009, the organization established their Organic Center in San Roque, Maribojoc, Bohol that will serveas their market cum display area for all the organic produce of the farmer-members.Though, only thirty or 90% of the members adopt the organic farming system, CASABUT-OFS is able to generatevermicast, nature farming system inputs and organically produced farm products like rice, vegetables and tilapia untotheir respective farms.According to one of its member, Cyril Lorbrigas, MAFC Chairman and Vice-Chairman of PAFC-Bohol, even if some ofthem are tenants, still the perseverance to produce more organically grown products is at the top of their list. 26
  28. 28. For them, going back to basics is indeed a positive means of returning good favor to mother earth. Besides, organicfarming is very economical – yet, fair market price of produce is very promising.With the able support from the Local Government Unit of Maribojoc, Bohol through the leadership of Hon. Leoncio B.Evasco, Jr., Mrs. Eva Bolasco, the Municipal Agricultural Officer, other government agencies and non-governmentorganizations, CASABUT-OFS becomes a showcase among farmers. Where concerted efforts and going back tonature is the key to victory Thus, organic farming for CASABUT is indeed their way of exploring the possibilities to develop the town of Maribojoc.# (Merrian Piquero Soliva, ATI RTC-VII, June 3, 2009)----------------------------------------Tandems that ClickOvercoming “mouse-fears”Isn‟t it strange that he who kills a field mouse with one blow is scared to click a computer mouse, and he whoskillfully clicks the computer mouse shouts at the sight of a field mouse?What if they team-up?Most farmers, if not all in Liloan, Southern Leyte are not computer literates. Although they know that it will fast-trackinformation search, the thought of using computers scares them. If this isn‟t overcome, it would defeat the purposeof putting the ICT facility in the FITS center. Hence, the Liloan FITS staff adopted the “parent-child” tandem tomaximize the use of ICT facility to search for information. A farmer who is hesitant to click a mouse to get theneeded information is assisted by his son/daughter who doesn‟t think twice in dragging a mouse in search of newthings. This started in March 2007 when the FITS center‟s Magsasaka Siyentista brought her daughter along to helpher get information from the net. From then on many parent-child tandems use the internet either to get informationor link with loved ones in other places.The tandem brought significant change in the farmer‟s attitude toward the use of ICT in getting information.Although still hesitant to hold the mouse, many have already sat in front of the computer to watch how the searchfor information through the net is done.This strategy spread to other centers in the region. The FITS centers are challenged to train at least three farmersand/or their sons/daughters a week on basic ICT use. This will lessen the workload of FITS staff in assisting thosewho wish to get information from the net.The need goes beyond technological informationWith the FITS center manned by the Office of Municipal Agriculture staff, many thought that the ICT facility isexclusive for agriculture and fishery concerns only. Thus, farmers did not come in to seek assistance for needs thatgo beyond technological information. This led to having another tandem - the Techno Gabay ICT and Community e-Center (CeC) services integration.The integration was suggested by then ViCARP‟s Director now RRDCC Chairperson Dr. Jose L. Bacusmo to formerMayor Marlo P. Maamo who readily implemented the idea by having both ICT facilities housed in one area. With 27
  29. 29. Mayor Shirlita Y. Chong presently at the helm, the Office of the Municipal Agriculture in Liloan, Southern Leyte wastransferred to the building where the FITS center and the CeC-ICT room are located.The integration encourages many to seek assistance not just on agriculture and fishery. When the ICT services werefirst offered in February 2007, there were only few who accessed the net. With the integration, many already visitedthe place and accessed the net for information.Clients who wait for their turn in the computer availed of the other services offered by the center. They getinformation on various technologies from reading available print materials or watching commodity videos. This madethem appreciate the center as a learning resource. They also became captured customers of the products sold in thecenter and promoters through word of mouth of the center‟s services.With the tandem, instant messaging and e-mail services expanded to connecting with loved ones. This is in additionto surfing the net for information helpful to the farm and in seeking advice from experts in other centers or from theconsortium.Improving ICT servicesWith the opportunity to serve using the ICT facility comes also the challenge of doing it well. While FITS staff arecapable of doing information and technology services, little do they know about ICT utilization. This prompted thelocal officials to designate the Sangguniang Bayan computer operator as the FITS information service specialist (ISS)and in-charge of the CeC.With the strong partnership of ViCARP where ATI 8 is member, and FITS Liloan, the equipping of the other staff onICT was facilitated. The partnership enabled the pooling of resources together for ICT training and other ICT-relatedactivities. Thus, it is not only the FITS ISS serving the need for ICT but the other staff as well. The load becamelighter for the FITS staff who also provided encoding, printing and deskstop publishing services for a fee to generatefund for the center‟s operational cost.The partnership also makes the promotion of the FITS services easier. Together, they come up with informationmaterials and promote the center‟s services during farmers‟ gatherings. This attracted more customers to the center.The tandems connectThe Liloan FITS center‟s “tandem” strategies made a mark in the province of Southern Leyte in its extensionprogram. It became a model to other FITS centers and would-be FITS center in the province who visited the LiloanFITS center to learn of the strategy.Indeed, the tandems not only click but connect.# (Hazel Grace T. Taganas, ATI RTC-VIII, May 5, 2010)-----------------------------------------Success Story of Emmanuel A. Cardenas“IF YOU WILL BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME.” . . . Fields of Dreams . . .Emmanuel A. Cardenas, Agricultural Technologist (AT) of Local Government of Siocon, Zaboanga del Norte indeeddreamt, nurtured that dream with a single-minded purpose, a consuming perseverance to realize that despite allodds and adversities, and saw it come into fruition. 28