BASCO, Batanes—With organic agriculture considered as a key in sustainable food production, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) ensures continuous capacity enhancement for extension workers on the processes and guidelines for the certification of organic farms.
Some 19 staff from ATI training centers nationwide were then trained on pre-assessment of organic farms. These staff serve as regional focal persons and alternate focal persons for the organic agriculture program.
“Having the knowledge in pre-assessment of farms towards third party certification is important. Being familiar with the Philippine National Standards for Organic Agriculture and other related standards is also very valuable,” said Dr. Jimmy Abarabar from ATI Regional Training Center II, who served as the resource person during the training.
With Abarabar’s guidance, the participants conducted a mock pre-assessment of two organic farms in the area. They were then tasked to process and discuss its results during the presentation and critiquing.
The training also served as an opportunity to deepen the participants’ understanding on the importance of traceability and record-keeping in farms. They also had the chance to familiarize themselves on the Internal Control System on crop production.
By the end, the participants prepared action plans indicating strategies to apply and share the knowledge they gained in their respective regions.
The activity also served as an avenue for the participants to discuss their first semester accomplishments for 2018 and work plan for 2019. ATI’s national focal person on organic agriculture, Jovanee dela Cuadra, also reported on some updates under the program.
The Enhancement Course on Organic Certification for Focal and Alternate Focal Persons was held on July 1-6, 2018 at the Batanes Experimental Station in this town.