New AgRIDOCs to bolster rice production

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Twenty-five graduates of the Regional Roll-out of Enabling the AgriDOC: “A New Breed of Agricultural Development Officers of the Community” Program, carried out by the Agricultural Training Institute Regional Training Center XI (ATI-RTC XI) are ready to conquer rice farming communities after completing the intensive season-long training on rice production.

The graduates, a combination of new and seasoned Agricultural Extension Workers (AEWs) from across the region, marked the end of their six months training by a graduation rite held on November 6, 2018 at New Visayas Gym, Panabo City, Davao del Norte.

Officially called as Agricultural Development Officers of the Community (AgRIDoc), the hailed new breed of rice extensionists, the AEWs are expected to be prime movers in boosting the rice production of their respective municipalities, as well as lead the promotion of rice self-sufficiency for the overall food security of the country.

Ariel M. Siton, an AgRIDoc from Lupon, Davao Oriental, said that the program ultimately increased his rice production knowledge, likewise, he gained valuable inputs that raised his capacities to take on the role of an effective AEW of their municipality.

“ There are three things to consider in applying fertilizer to rice plant in order to be productive, these are right kind, right amount and right timing. Similarly, ATI provided us the right kind of topics at the right time, that gave us the right amount of wisdom which made us capable to take on responsibilities as AEWs of our communities.” Siton said.

The trainees visited farm sites and some agriculture affiliated offices in Luzon to learn latest farm technologies in rice farming. They had toured ATI accredited Extension Service Provider (ESP) in Laguna, Nueva Ecija, and Batangas on October 1-5, 2018.

ATI Director Dr. Luz A. Taposok who graced the graduation ceremony, along with other valued guests, reiterated to the graduates their crucial role as catalysts of change who will be deployed to the community to improve and transform rice farmers’ lives.

“ You are the key to the transformation of our community, particularly in the countryside. You are entrusted to be agents of change who would invigorate and strengthen the agricultural extension system”, said the ATI Head.

On the other hand, Center Director Dante G. Eguerra, as well, emphasized to the graduates to utilize the knowledge they have learned to help rice farmers further improved their livelihood.

The center director also thanked the support and participation of the rice farmers from Brgy. Ising and San Isidro, Carmen, Davao del Norte, who were present during the event to receive their certificates as farmer students of the Climate Reseliency Farm Business School, a component activity of the program.

The graduates were part of the second batch of the regional roll-out of the program in the region, under the Rice Program of ATI XI, duly supervised by the Rice Focal Person, Mr. Ernie L. Malazarte and Project Officer, Mr. Felson Jay V. Mahumot.

The first roll-out conducted last year has trained and graduated 23 AEWs.

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