AgriTalk Sees CDO’s Growing Interest in Urban Agriculture

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The resource speakers sit down for a quick question-and-answer session with the participants. (photo by Ashlee Canilang)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Interest in urban agriculture continues to grow as over 700 farmers and farming enthusiasts in this city gathered for the second of this year’s AgriTalk series.

In the activity spearheaded by the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), participants were provided with information on square-foot gardening, beekeeping, and mushroom production.

As he welcomed the attendees, Dante Simangan, Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation’s Vice President for Circulation, emphasized that AgriTalk is a grand initiative for farmers across generations, including the youth.

Moreover, he assured everyone that the Manila Bulletin will consistently be a partner of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in strengthening the capacities of farmers nationwide. “We are all concerned about the agriculture situation of the country,” he stated.

Likewise, Center Director Ma. Lydia Echavez of the ATI–Regional Training Center X, said that the free seminar helps not only the farmers and farm enthusiasts, but also the youth in their involvement in the agriculture industry.

The Center Director declared that as the training arm of DA, the ATI is “giving focus on out-of-school and in-school youth in terms of expanding their interest and skills in farming.”

Meanwhile, Carlota Madriaga, Regional Technical Director for Operations of DA–Regional Field Office (RFO) X, thanked the organizers for choosing Cagayan De Oro as the venue for the activity.

She noted, “Farmers and farm entrepreneurs of Cagayan De Oro are privileged to learn about new farming technologies from experts.”

Speaking to the participants, she furthered: “The technologies you will learn are developed and tested through research which are ready to be applied.”

One of the resource speakers during the event was Honorio Cervantes, a retired police officer who is now an expert in square-foot gardening in Cagayan De Oro. He shared his knowledge and experiences in planting organic vegetables in limited spaces.

Cervantes also demonstrated how he makes the most of his 300-square-meter garden to plant vegetables through the square-foot method.

Also included in the line-up of experts were Jocelyn Ellevera and May Shell Tumilap from the DA-RFO X. They, respectively, talked about beekeeping and mushroom production as business opportunities.

The activity was held last May 24 at SM CDO Downtown Premier. It was made possible through the collaboration with the Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation and the Bureau of Agricultural Research.

ATI Today

Extension services continue to evolve. With the challenges that extension workers and farmers face, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) continues to explore various strategies to improve its efforts as the extension and training arm of the Department of Agriculture. In over 30 years, the ATI has celebrated various successes and learned from the lessons during hard times. Nonetheless, we are proud to be standing the test of time through the support of our partners and the clientele themselves. This is the ATI Today, more committed to bring you extension services beyond boundaries.