SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur – “How do you feel about being an AEW?”, “What motivates you to do extension work?”, “What should be improved in extension?” These are just some of the questions asked during the consultation for the Situational Analysis on the Conditions of Local Extension System and State Universities and Colleges at Mabe’s Savory Place in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur last April 10-13, 2019.
According to Michelle Montiel, Project Evaluation Officer II of the Agricultural Training Institute Central Office (ATI-CO), the situational analysis aims to assess the conditions of the local extension systems and state university extension that would provide a deeper understanding of the Philippine Extension system as basis in recommending what aspects need improvement towards better considerations and recommendations in crafting the Agriculture and Fisheries Extension (AFE) policies.
The study was able to capture aspects in AFE such as structure, function, policy, program, personnel, facilities, budget and resources, scope and coverage of services.
Three provinces are involved in the nationwide study and these are Ilocos Norte, Eastern Samar and Agusan del Sur which are also pilot sites of the Collaborative Provincial Agriculture and Fisheries Extension System (CPAFES), a proposed province-led extension system in the country.
Prior to the activity in San Francisco, survey forms were distributed in all 13 municipalities of Agusan del Sur. These forms included individual surveys responded by the Agricultural Technologists (ATs) and institutional surveys which were answered by the Municipal Agriculturists (MAs). Results of these surveys became inputs during the Key Informants’ Interview (KII) and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) which were employed by the ATI-CO staff. The MAs participated in the KII with the aim of gathering added information for proper interpretation and analysis of data. On the other hand, the ATs participated in the FGDs to probe into the survey questions and capture what the exact gaps are between the existing situation.
Montiel further explained during the closing program that after gathering of data, an analysis will be made and by October 2019, a manuscript shall have been completed for submission to the office of the Agriculture Secretary and other agencies as basis for policy formulation and program development.
Because of the limited number of interviewers, the participants were divided into two batches. Batch 1, which was scheduled from April 10-12, 2019, included the municipalities of Esperanza, Sibagat, Sta. Josefa, Talacogon, Trento, San Francisco, Prosperidad and Rosario. While Batch 2, which took place last April 11-13, 2019, composed of the towns of San Luis, Loreto, La Paz and Veruela.
A total of 48 AEWs took part in the study in Agusan del Sur.