Harnessing Innovations and Partnerships: ATI-CAR Reaffirms Commitment to ESP, LS, SPA, FTS and Techno-Demo Sites

LA TRINIDAD, BENGUET. “Iti-training mi dakayo ta dakayo ti training venue ti ayan yo. (We are training you because you are the training venue in your community.)” This was what Cristino E. Balancio of the ATI-CAR shared as the overarching rationale of the of capability enhancement training for the ESP, LS, SPA, FTS and Techno-Demo Sites of the ATI-CAR. The Agricultural Training Institute-Cordillera Administrative Region (ATI-CAR) previously accredited learning sites (LS), schools for practical agriculture (SPA), farm tourism sites (FTS), private extension service providers (ESP) as early as 2012 and funded various techno-demo sites across different commodities in the region. These entities, most of which are farms owned by advanced farmers, usually serve as venues especially during practical and hands-on sessions for trainings conducted by the ATI-CAR or other government and non-government organizations. The farmer-cooperators also serve as the resource persons during these activities. These farms also cater to the farmers in their community, individuals interested in farming, and agriculture students who are taking their internship.
In line with this, the ATI-CAR designed a capability enhancement training geared to enhance the tutorial, social and training skills of the farm-owners or managers of these farms. The training was attended by 34 farmers from the six provinces of CAR, 14 from Benguet, six from Kalinga, five from Ifugao, four from Mt. Province, three from Abra, and two from Apayao.

The participants were introduced by Mr. Balancio to the basic concepts of trainings such as adult learning, handling unruly participants, and training methods. Training Specialist II Cristine Esnara, also from the ATI-CAR, talked about the traits of trainers and updated the participants of their roles and responsibilities as LS, SPA or FTS. Moreover, Ms. Jam R. Balingan, Media Production Specialist II of the ATI-CAR, gave inputs about communication skills and presentation skills. Lastly, Certified Public Accountant Maridith Lay-at from the Saint Luis University-Extension Institute for Small Scale Industries Foundation (SLU-EISSIF) Inc. taught the participants the basics of farm records keeping and book keeping. A series of drills on farm records keeping and book keeping followed the lecture of Ms. Lay-at. Aside from records keeping and book keeping the participants also had a practicum to further enhance their presentation skills.  The participants were tasked present or share about their farms, their technology, farming methods, processing methods, and/or marketing methods.

Ms. Jaya Marsan of the Cosmic Farm, one of the SPA of the ATI-CAR specializing in organic highland vegetable production, shared her thoughts on the training. She said, “naadal ko ti importansya ti farm records keeping ta uray nga amo kon ti basic na dijay, mayat met laeng nga nareview ken nanayunan pay ti panaka-amok (I have learned the importance of farm records keeping because even if I already know the basics, it is still good that I was reviewed and my knowledge about it increased.)” The training was held on March 14 to 16, 2017at the ATI-CAR, Benguet State University (BSU) compound, La Trinidad, Benguet.