DILIMAN, Quezon City—The Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) gathered partners and stakeholders in the celebration of its 37th anniversary, with the theme "Innovate, Collaborate, Succeed: Growing Together for a Sustainable Future".
Senator Mark Villar graced the program on behalf of Senator Cynthia Villar who serves as the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food. In his message, he emphasized the importance of the ATI in increasing the productivity of farmers and in empowering them to embrace technology.
"We see abroad the various technologies that they're using now and we can see how high the crop yields are when these technologies are being used. This is really a global trend. It's very important that we attain that level of efficiency in agriculture and the only way that we can do this is through technology and training," he said.
"Relatedly, the ATI has played a vital role in the growing awareness of the public in terms of organic agriculture practices and policies. This stemmed from the series of training programs and advisory services they have offered," he added as he talked about the Participatory Guarantee System under Republic Act No. 11511.
Meanwhile, officials from the Department of Agriculture (DA) were also in attendance to represent Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel, Jr., namely, Undersecretary for Operations Roger Navarro, Undersecretary for Livestock Deogracias Victor Savellano, and Undersecretary for DA Bureaus Mercedita Sombilla.
"We congratulate the ATI for 37 years of committed service to our farmers in the countryside as well as to our youth, women, and urban dwellers. So, it is no longer a challenge, rather, a commitment for you to continue leading the innovation of various agriculture extension strategies, as well as strengthening collaboration with partners to achieve productivity, modernization, and professionalization," USec. Navarro said as he read the inspirational message from the DA Secretary.
ATI Director Remelyn Recoter thanked Sen. Villar, Secretary Laurel, and the rest of the DA officials for their support to the ATI.
"Under the leadership of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., we continue to strongly emphasize innovation by introducing new programs and strategies to support the Department of Agriculture’s thrust on modernization while meeting the needs of our farmers and fishers," she said.
She also expressed her gratitude to the 1,800 Learning Sites for Agriculture and Extension Service Providers; Farm Schools; the DA-Regional Field Offices; the local government units; farmers’ cooperatives and associations; and other private and civil society organizations. Likewise, the ATI Director stressed that the ATI will continue promoting digital agriculture for the benefit of farmers and continue maximizing the role of the young generation as the new breed of agripreneurs.
The other highlights of the event include the signing of agreements and launch for the "Bakal Lokal, Produkto Lokal" initiative with the Youth First Initiative Philippines, Inc.; Digital Training Module of Rice: Research to Production with the International Rice Research Institute; Use of Digital Solutions for Agricultural Advancement with Globe Telecom, Inc.; and the Digital Farmers Program Farm Tech Component with PLDT and Smart Communications, Inc.
The ISO 9001:2015 re-certification was also awarded for the entire ATI Network. Loyalty awardees and retirees were also recognized.
Meanwhile, the top-performing centers were awarded, namely, ATI Cordillera Administrative Region, ATI CALABARZON, and ATI Bicol in the first, second, and third place, respectively.
The opening program for the ATI's 37th anniversary was held on February 2 at the Rural Development and Education Center in Quezon City. The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the "AgriAsenso" Product Expo and TechnoForum took place in the afternoon at the TriNoma Activity Center.