MAKATI CITY, Metro Manila—Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) Director Remelyn Recoter was one of the speakers and panelists at the 2023 Sustainable Agriculture Forum by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), with the theme "Agriculture for the Future: Innovating Agri-Food Systems to Accelerate Food Security", on September 7 at the Dusit Thani Manila.
During the discussion, Recoter talked about the skills and knowledge that farmers need to develop in today’s rapidly changing agricultural landscape.
“Farming is a complex business that demands accurate records and careful financial management. Therefore, it is important to help them develop a market-oriented mindset in order for them to increase their productivity and income,” she said.
Additionally, the ATI continues to tailor its programs to meet the needs of farmers across different regions and sub-sectors in the Philippines through training needs assessment, consultation and planning workshops, regional development priorities, and national and local investment plans.
Recoter also discussed its existing training programs along the value chain system—from production to marketing—emphasizing the need to transform farmers as entrepreneurs. Included here are capacity-building activities that promote the use of information and communication technology or ICT.
"In incorporating digital literacy and modern farming technologies, the Institute launched the Digital Farmers Program (DFP) to help Filipino farmers access online information to make better farming decisions," she added.
She also talked about how the ATI helps educate farmers about environmental-friendly and resource-efficient farming practices to improve productivity and profitability.
This year’s Sustainable Agriculture Forum provided a platform for high-level discussions on major issues relating to the competitiveness, sustainability, and productivity of the country’s agriculture sector, particularly amid disruptions in the agri-food supply chain.
Other forum speakers include Senator Cynthia Villar, Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Mercedita Sombilla, Food and Agriculture Organization Representative in the Philippines Dr. Lionel Dabbadie, Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines Head of Cooperation Christoph Wagner, and ECCP President Paulo Duarte.
The ECCP, a multilateral foreign chamber and a membership organization, aims to strengthen economic connections and business relationships between the Philippines and Europe. It acknowledges the crucial role of the agriculture sector in revitalizing the Philippine economy.