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ATI Sets Out to Partner with AGREA
Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) Director Asterio P. Saliot and ATI-Regional Training Center IVB Center Director Patt Andrew Barrientos met with AGREA’s founding farmer Cherrie Atilano to discuss upcoming partnership in delivering extension services in Marinduque Island.
AGREA, whose name came from the words AGRiculture and the Greek word GaEA for environment, is a social enterprise that aims to change the imbalanced game of farming by cultivating not just the land but also developing the people in it. AGREA envisions to make Marinduque a one-island economy where there is food security; there will zero waste, hunger and malnutrition; and well-being of people is increased.
The founding farmer who is a social entrepreneur, agriculture scientist, and a landscape designer related to ATI how she has come to love agriculture. Inspired by her late father who fought for the rights of farmers, Atilano started training the land cultivators at the age of 12. All she had was a bicycle given by her mother on her birthday which she used in roaming around their community in Iloilo where she first taught farming at a young age. Until this very day, the love for farmers and passion in agriculture has blossomed in her. She proved to the world and to the young people that indeed farming is cool, smart, sexy and humane.
Atilano excelled in the niche of agriculture academically, professionally and is even exposed in the global sphere. She has remarkably built strong linkages with known people and great companies both in the local and international arena as well as influenced people of different races and culture. She serves as a model farmer worthy of emulation for the growing generation of young farmers.
With her leadership, AGREA is now working on the papers needed to be accredited as ATI’s Extension Service Provider. ATI and AGREA have purposely crossed paths to further uplift the lives of the marginalized in the countryside. With the partnership, it is hoped that ATI will be able to contribute to making Marinduque food sufficient, sustainable and a replicable one-island economy.