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Farm Schools for Agricultural Development
ATI Director Asterio P. Saliot, the adoptive “Father of Costales Nature Farm,” did not miss the Fourth Organic Harvest Festival. The farm was established by Ronald Costales, a retired IT expert, and then built a strong partnership with the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) for the promotion of Organic Agriculture. Looking back, Costales jumped-off in organic farming from zero knowledge. His first engagement with ATI was the Training for Instruction Materials and Delivery Couse, he then participated in different trainings and was introduced to the group of Magsasaka-Siyentista; these farmers demonstrate Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and science-based of doing new things in agriculture. Being exposed to the agriculture spectrum, he later on became the president of the organization. CALABARZON is fortunate to have Costales Nature Farm as its first organic farm in the region.
As an accredited Extension Service Provider of ATI, the Costales Nature farm facilitates the development of farmers and youth through the ladderized course approach. Costales served as the mentor of the out-of-school- youths (OSY) by assisting them to learn by doing farm processes to prepare them as future farm managers and agripreneurs.
The Costales Nature Farm is also a success in helping small farmers in the community through imparting farm technologies and knowledge to “small brothers.” As the big brother farm enjoys the achievement, he brings with him the small brothers to its share of success. The Fourth Organic Harvest Festival is truly a mark of the camaraderie among the organic farmers who grow healthy and fresh products for consumers.
by Rachel Raval