ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR - The Department of Agriculture through the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), in partnership with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), initiated a project titled “Improving Technology Promotion and Delivery through Capability Enhancement of Next-Gen Rice Extension Professionals and Other Intermediaries (IPaD).” IPaD is one of seven projects under the Department of Agriculture-IRRI Rice R&D Collaboration for Food Staple Sufficiency funded by the National Rice Program through the DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR).
One of IPaD’s major components is the development of a new breed of rice extension professionals to help meet the challenges of a more complex, challenging, and competitive rice production environment. Its graduates are called AgRiDOC or agricultural development and extension officers of the community. AgRiDOCs are expected to be catalysts of farm community transformation. After-training evaluation results of Batch 1 have revealed that the AgRiDOCs have gained almost 30% increase in rice production knowledge and seemed to have improved their attitude toward their work and now recognize the value of entrepreneurship.
The project 'Improving Technology Promotion and Delivery through Capability Enhancement of Next-Gen Rice Extension Professionals and other Intermediaries" or IPaD is one of the seven DAIRRI collaborative projects in support to the Food Staples Sufficiency Program (FFSP).
The project aims to help strengthen the rice extension system mainly by developing a new breed of rice extension officers with a strong sense of mission to help make farming communities competitive, sustainable, and resilient. Part of the project is the training program "Enabling the AgRIDOC: A New Breed of Agricultural Development and Extension Officers of the Community. A total of sixty-seven (67) Agricultural Extension Workers (AEWs) from different regions completed the program. One of the requirement upon completion of the course is a Community Development Plan which will be implemented in their respective provinces/municipalities.
The Department of Agriculture National Rice Program through the Agricultural Training Institute will provide start-up fund to the approved Community Development Plan of the AGRIDOC Graduates.
Spearheaded by the Project Officer, Mr. Nino O. Codino, the area evaluation and signing of the Memorandum of Agreement for the start-up fund (50, 000.00) of the AgriDOC particularly the graduates from Zamboanga del Sur Province in the municipalities of Margosatubig, Tigbao (2 Sites), Kumalarang and in Mahayag, was conducted last January 15-19, 2018. - Sittie Norjanna Pala