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Agricultural Extension Workers Trained on Market-Oriented Extension Scheme
SAN MATEO, Rizal -- A group of agricultural extension workers and development facilitators gathered recently for a training on market-oriented extension scheme by establishing farm business schools.
The training was part of the project, "Capacity Building of Small Farmers in Entrepreneurship Development and Market Access" of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO-UN) in its effort to upgrade the capacities of the farm level extension workers in helping the farmers to become agri-business entrepreneurs with strong linkages to markets.
The ATI and FAO-UN, in coordination with the DA-Agricultural Marketing Assistance Service (DA-AMAS), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), spearheaded the conduct of the Training-Workshop for Facilitators of Farm Business School (FBS) for Selected Farmers in Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija with about 25 participants for the first batch. The participants comprised of agricultural extension workers, development facilitators, subject matter specialists and other specialists from the local government units, DAR provincial offices and OPAP.
"Through FBS, farmers and farmer-leaders will learn to be entrepreneurs and in turn will teach other farmers how to gain the knowledge and skills of a business person", ATI Director Asterio P. Saliot inspired the group.
During workshop proper, the participants discussed the project which would last until June 2014. Likewise, effective communication and facilitation techniques were discussed. Moreover, they also identified and analysed the elements and modules of the FBS. Further, the group exhibited skills in facilitating farmers` meetings, discussed the substantive contents of FBS and firmed-up the plan for the conduct of FBS for selected farmers in Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija.
Various experts from the ATI-Regional Training Centers, DA-AMAS and and DAR in regions II and III were invited to lecture on topics on farm business and other related matters, communication skills; organizational, planning and management of FBS, among others. FAO consultants Gumercindo G. Tumbali and Jose Rey Y. Alo also served as resource persons.
The 12-day activity was held at Ciudad Christhia Resort last March 4 to 16, 2013 in this province. The second batch is tentatively scheduled on April 15 to 27, 2013.