25 Young Farmers Now Certified Organic Agriculture Experts

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The participants of the training program take plant identification exams. (photo by Mary Joy Hilot)

NAUJAN, Oriental Mindoro—Twenty five young farmers now hold National Certification (NC) II on Organic Agriculture (OA) Production, adding to the pool of organic farmer successors in the country.

This is after a week-long training program of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). The group of participants is composed of batch 2018 trainees of the Young Filipino Farmer Leaders’ Training Program in Japan, Gawad Saka awardees, and agriculturists from ATI Central Office.

This activity aims to intensify the practice of organic farming in the country and, at the same time, strengthen the competitiveness and capacities in the agriculture and fisheries sector.

During the training, the participants were provided with knowledge on the Philippine National Standards for OA and the core competencies in the industry. The latter includes raising organic chickens, vegetable production, vermicompost production, organic concoction production, raising organic hogs, and raising organic small ruminants.

A skill competency assessment was also part of the program. The participants took identification, oral, and computer examinations and completed actual vegetable production and poultry production tests. Having passed all the written and practical assessment tests, the participants are set to receive their NC II Certificates from TESDA by September.

Ruben Jugno, Assistant Center Director of ATI-MiMaRoPa, was the assessor during the skills competency assessment. TESDA representative Jorge Hernandez was also present to observe the activity.

NC II and Trainers Methodology certificate holder Neri Fontanilla served as resource speaker during the activity. Other resource persons include agriculturist JayAr Madriaga and NC II holder Monchito Jalac of ATI-MiMaRoPa.

ATI-MiMaRoPa Center Director Pat Andrew Barrientos also graced the activity and spoke to the participants. He underscored the importance of Integrated Diversified Organic Farming System and of the establishment of organic agriculture Learning Sites and Farm School assessment centers.

The training program was held last August 5-11, 2019 at the ATI-MiMaRoPa compound.

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.