ATI Compound, EL SALVADOR CITY ─ As the training and extension arm of the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) through its centers is currently conducting series of Financial Literacy Training to the farmers of the 15 initially identified provinces in the country. Such move to shift from support programs focused on production to support programs for easy and low-interest financing is ongoing.
The Financial Literacy Training will enable farmer participants to acquire knowledge on business farming. The shift to a market-oriented farming will enable them to learn proper matching and selection of farm technologies and safe farm supplies to reduce crop damages and packaging of fresh and finished farm products acceptable to the market and safe consumption standards for both local and global markets.
“By 2019, the Department of Agriculture will start shifting its agriculture and fisheries support program to a more efficient and easily accessible low-interest financing program for farmers, fisherfolk, and other agriculture and fisheries stakeholders.” Sec. Emmanuel F. Piñol said. This was one of the pronouncements of the DA Secretary during the initial consultation-workshop on agri-fishery extension harmonization last year sometime in April.
For ATI here in Region X, it conducted its first batch of the training on Financial Literacy on August 7-8, 2018 at Pangantucan, Bukidnon. It was participated in by 68 farmers from the different Barangays of Pangatucan who have responded to the invitation of the LGU.
There will be two more batches of this training this September to be conducted in Misamis Oriental, and one of which would be in the Province of Bukidnon with a target of 120 farmer participants per batch:
March 18-20, 2019 in Misamis Occidental (Batch 1)
March 20-22, 2019 in Lanao del Norte (Batch 2)
September 9-11, 2019 in Misamis Oriental (Batch 3)
September 11-13, 2019 in Bukidnon (Batch 4)
The series of series of Financial Literacy Trainings form part of the easy-access loan program of the DA which was initially launched and pilot tested on May 2017 in Surigao del Norte and Nueva Ecija through the Agricultural Credit Policy Council ( ACPC) Production Loan Easy Access ( PLEA). Initially, the PLEA program was targeted to cover 15 provinces – one in Luzon, four in Visayas, and 10 in Mindanao. (with reports from Jhoylie Mae C. Rosales, Development Management Officer II)