Private Partners' Contributions to Agricultural Development

Private Partners' Contributions to Agricultural Development

Mon 13/03/2023-10:12am

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One of the most important components in boosting farm productivity in light of today's growing threat to food security is the private sector's participation in providing extension services.

Learning Site for Agriculture (LSA) is considered as an effective modality of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) in displaying need-based and site-specific farming practices and agricultural enterprises. LSA is an ATI initiative that seeks to collaborate with certain farms, groups, or institutions in order to provide extended services to agri stakeholders. It has successfully addressed the underlying causes of low farm productivity in agriculture and transformed farmers to agripreneurs, expanded monocrop to integrated farming system, and modified pure farm production to farm tourism.

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One of the directives for FY 2023 issued by the ATI Director, Engr. Remelyn R. Recoter, MNSA, CESO III, is to strengthen the role of LSAs in the growth and development of the agricultural and fisheries sector.

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In accordance with these instructions, Dr. Rolando V. Maningas, Training Center Superintendent II of the DA-ATI CALABARZON, actively partakes in awarding the certificates of LSAs throughout the CALABARZON Region. Dr. Maningas’ purpose in doing this is to personally visit the site, and have the opportunity to interact with the private partners  and learn more about the unique features that each farm has to offer.

For the first two (2) months of 2023, ten (10) LSAs and one (1) Private Agricultural and Fisheries Extension Service Provider (PAF-ESP) were validated by DA-ATI CALABARZON. These are as follows:

  • Uma Verde Econature Farm Inc. in Candelaria, Quezon was launched as PAF-ESP. This farm advanced through the ranks, starting from LSA I certification in 2016 to LSA II certification in 2020.
  • Villa Socorro Farm, located in Pagsanjan, Laguna, is known as a processor of export-quality banana chips, where raw materials are sourced from banana farmers in their locality.
  • Ole Farm Well, a nonprofit in Padre Garcia, Batangas, that promotes sustainable lifestyles using organic permaculture principles.  
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  • Dagatan Family Farm, a community school in Lipa City, Batangas that serves students in grades 7 through 12, with a focus on agriculture and entrepreneurship.
  • Cufamco Integrated Farm in Calamba City, Laguna that engages in yellow corn production, livestock, briquetting, and farm mechanization technology.
  • Granjeros Integrated Farm, the first certified LSA in the Municipality of General Nakar, Quezon, showcases primary technologies on rice production.
  • Gary’s Farm Resort Training and Assessment Center in Mabitac, Laguna,  a rice-based integrated farm with coconut, fruit trees and livestock.
  • Myrtle's Agricultural Farm situated in the heavily urbanized city of Quezon - Lucena City, promotes urban organic agriculture, as it is moves toward TESDA Certification.
  • The Ouan’s Worth Farm and Family Resort also located in Lucena City, Quezon, offers TESDA courses on Organic Agricultural Production.
  • RLI Fruit Farm in Bauan, Batangas, specializes in the production and processing of fruit wines.
  • Auspere Nature Farm in Silang, Cavite, showcases technologies in cocoa cultivation and processing.

These aforementioned farms contribute to the dissemination of various agricultural technologies, create jobs in their respective areas, and, most importantly, contribute to the growth of the agricultural industry.

DA-ATI CALABARZON has plans in place for the enhancement of LSAs, under the guidance and supervision of Dr. Maningas. One of these is to link LSAs to DA agencies as venues for trainings and other events; second is to strengthen LSAs by providing them with training in product development and packaging in collaboration with DOST and DTI; another is to link the LSAs' products to KADIWA Centers and KADIWA on Wheels across the region; and fourth is to use LSAs as venue of SUCs’ On-the-Job Training (OJT) for students.

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For the year 2023 and beyond, more LSAs will be launched by DA-ATI CALABARZON and Dr. Maningas is certain that these partnerships will pave the way to more agripreneurs, creating a ripple effect that would bring agriculture to a whole new level.