ATI Wraps Up 36th Year with New Thrust on Modernization

Sun, 01/22/2023 - 19:10
ATI 36th anniversary
The ATI sets the focus on modernization as it marks its 36th year.


DILIMAN, Quezon City—The Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) continues to bank on the opportunities and possibilities of the ongoing technological advancements as it celebrates its 36th founding anniversary. 

With the theme “ATI LEADS: Innovate, Transform, Empower—Embracing Extension Modernization for a Progressive and Sustainable Agriculture and Fisheries”, the ATI’s anniversary celebration will be marked by the soft launch of three major initiatives that will chart a new path for its nationwide network of training centers from 2023 onwards.

In line with its thrust on innovation, the ATI will introduce the Unified Extension System Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation Information System (UnExSys) which will be used for information management and harmonization of the agri-fishery extension services. The system is seen to ensure effective and efficient resource mapping, planning, monitoring, and evaluation of ATI programs, projects, and activities.

Meanwhile, the Agriculture and Fisheries Extension (AFE) Strategic Plan 2023-2028 will also be unveiled. This will serve as a blueprint for reframing the sector and transforming the country’s food systems to become more productive, efficient, sustainable, and resilient. 

Created together with the National Extension System for Agriculture and Fisheries, the strategic plan is comprised of four strategic objectives, namely, enhancing capacities of extension workers and farmer-leaders; improving competitiveness through agripreneurship; ensuring nourishment of farmers and their families; and strengthening partner institutions and primary producers.

To further empower its stakeholders, the new brand of the Digital Farmers Program (DFP) will be launched as it expands its services to increase mobile and internet literacy and introduce various digital applications and platforms for farm productivity and livelihood. 

Implemented in partnership with PLDT and Smart Communications, the new DFP components will include Farm Learn or capacity-building; Farm Tech or package of technology; Farm Connect or linkage between farmers and digital agriculture services; and Farm Seal or certification of Smart Learning Sites for Agriculture (LSAs). 

A ribbon-cutting for the exhibit of products and services of LSAs and Extension Service Providers from different parts of the country will kick off the week-long celebration. This is to further showcase their significance as partners of the Institute in ensuring continuous learning in rural communities especially at the height of the pandemic.

Other activities are also in store to highlight the role of partnerships and multisectoral collaborations in the modernization and industrialization of the sector. These include the signing of a memorandum of understanding for credit assistance for youth agripreneurs and commitment signing for the work and financial plan for fiscal year 2023.

In 2022, more than 135,000 clients were served through over 3,000 training and other extension-related activities conducted by the ATI. These include training courses on agricultural production, specifically for rice, corn, high-value crops, coconut, livestock, and poultry. 

The Institute also focused on providing capacity-enhancement services to help address the effects of the African Swine Fever, fall armyworm, and climate change. Its network also promoted the practice of food production in household levels through the Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture Program and training on food safety.

Farm Business School programs and other entrepreneurship training, as well as farm mechanization, postharvest, processing, logistics, and marketing support training, were held to level up farmers’ skills and attitude towards agribusiness and the agricultural value chain. 

Activities were also conducted to support the promotion and implementation of the Province-led Agri-fishery Extension Systems in line with the Mandanas-Garcia ruling. Educational grants, together with thesis and dissertation assistance, were also provided to agricultural extension workers towards the professionalization of the industry.

Likewise, scholarship and internship programs for the youth locally and internationally, as well as gender empowerment initiatives, were undertaken to ensure the continued participation of the youth and women in agricultural development.

The ATI’s 36th anniversary celebration will be held on January 23 to 27 at the Central Office compound in this city. Simultaneous activities will also be held in the regional levels through the network of training centers.