DILIMAN, Quezon City – The problems on food insufficiency reflects the need for continuous agricultural innovation. Thus, Dr. Luz Taposok of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) exhibits support on various research and development studies in agricultural extension services.
The Institute is currently on the process of evaluating the study “Capacity-Building for Localizing Climate-Crop Models for Climate Information Services Provisioning” proposed by Dr. Rowena Baconguis of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). The study aims to design, develop and implement a capacity-strengthening scheme of integrated climate-crop modeling in selected stated universities and colleges (SUCs) in the country.
Likewise, the project “Bridging Leadership and Governance in Asset Base Sustainable Organic Agriculture Development (BLG-ABSOAD)” led by the League of Organic Agriculture Municipalities and Cities in the Philippines (LOAMC-PH) and SEAOIL Foundation, Inc. (SFI) and was introduced to ATI in February has already been implemented. Taposok agreed to provide assistance in the monitoring and evaluation phase of the program. Said project focuses on employing the Bridging Leadership Framework to mainstream and institutionalize the Asset Base Sustainable Organic Agriculture in family farms and municipalities/component cities of LOAMC members.
Alongside capacity building studies and program proposals, Taposok has been supportive of conducting baseline studies for extension.
Recently, she served as a key resource informant for the “Baseline Study for the Agriculture and Fisheries Extension Results-based Monitoring and Evaluation” and “Impact Evaluation of the Learning Sites Program of ATI in Luzon” led by Dr. Romeo Santos, Professor from the University of the Philippines Diliman and Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant.
During the interview, Taposok stressed the importance of monitoring and evaluation in ATI’s operations. “It (M&E) is a way to assess how far you have gone with the intervention and how effective it has been.” She commented.
Likewise, she noted the essence of baseline studies in implementing development programs. According to her, projects proposals must be presented with situation analysis, benchmarking details and case studies.
The OIC-Director shared the challenges of the Institute in the field of M&E as well as the strengths and weaknesses of its strategic plans. She explained that ATI needs more evaluators who will measure the efficiency of different programs. Also, consistent strategic planning activities and internal communication enable different divisions of ATI to cope well with problems they encounter.
Taposok believes that research and development is a vital component of extension. “Continues research means continuous extension activities.” she remarked.