ATI, TESDA Join Forces to Strengthen Farm Tourism

Key officials of ATI and the government convene to further establish farm schools in MiMaRoPa

NAUJAN, Oriental Mindoro – Consistent efforts are made to improve the knowledge and technical skills of the farmers and fishers in the countryside. Recently, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) collaborated for the establishment of farm school in MiMaRoPa, pursuant to the Republic Act 10816 or the Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016.

During the project forum, OIC-Director Luz Taposok explained the overall objective of ATI farm schools which include the protection and promotion of the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels; implementation of appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all; establishment, maintenance and support of complete, adequate and integrated system of education relevant to the needs of the people and society; and the encouragement of informal and indigenous learning systems, as well as self-learning, independent, and out-of-school study programs.

“With the joint intervention pushed by Sen. Cynthia Villar, TESDA, ATI, and DAR are in the forefront of providing continuous technical skills training and provision of extension materials and other extension services to put up farm schools in every municipality.” Taposok expressed.

The OIC-Director also stated the technicalities of the program. “Learning-by-doing, non-traditional education program is the mode of delivery used that includes formal, non-formal and informal sources of knowledge and skills. As carried out by the Learning Sites, the approach involves a 70:30 learning scheme in which 70% is devoted to practical/hands-on activities while the remaining 30% are focused on lectures.”

Moreover, Taposok stressed the need to increase awareness on agri-business which will greatly benefit the farm families. “Farm entrepreneurship is also an important aspect of the learning process wherein there is an intermingling of finance, business and agriculture in setting into operation or motion a business venture involved in the production of agricultural commodities or enterprises.”

Assistant Regional Director of TESDA MiMaRoPa Edwin Andoyo encouraged the nationwide promotion of farm schools to educate the farmers and fisherfolks and help them gain more income for their families.

Likewise, Senator Cynthia Villar emphasized that through farm schools, rural families will be able to maximize their resources and compete in the international market.

The activity was also attended by Governor Alfonso Umali Jr., Naujan Mayor Atty. Mark Marcos, Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Technology President Dr. Jessie Mendoza and representatives from various TESDA-accredited farm schools in Region IV-B who will offer programs in Organic Agriculture Production NCII.

Prior to the discussion of farm school establishment, Taposok, Villar and ATI MiMaRoPa Center Director Pat Andrew Barrientos led the inauguration of the new ATI Center for Agriculture and Fisheries Extension Services and the groundbreaking ceremony of ATI dormitory in the region.

Taposok indicated during the ceremony that ATI is continuously expanding and establishing avenues for the delivery of excellent extension services to its beneficiaries and clientele.

“As we develop our structures, we also enrich our services. This new Center for Agriculture and Fishery Extension Hall will help more farmers and fishers to improve their socioeconomic condition and quality of life by incorporating good agricultural practices which then results to the increase in farm production and income.” She added.