ATI Hosts 1st ASEAN ICT Exchange Visit Programme for Unified Knowledge Sharing for A & F

Mr. Ishak Pandak shares some of their ICT-supported initiatives in Malaysia (Photo by Dennis Boyd R. Baltazar)

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Government has put a concerted effort into modernizing the agriculture and fisheries sector through the provision of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).  By establishing ICT-supported facilities the Government has started optimizing existing ICT infrastructures for an effective and efficient delivery of agricultural extension and training services.
One of the prime examples of this endeavor is the Philippine e-Extension Program which was launched to attain a modernized agriculture and fisheries sector where farmers and other stakeholders have enhanced productivity, profitability and are competitive in the global market.

In line with this, the Department of Agriculture through the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) hosted this year's ASEAN ICT Exchange Visit Programme, as part of its commitment to the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Sectoral Working Group on Agricultural Training and Extension (AWGATE). The programme was participated in by 14 delegates coming from four ASEAN member states namely Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.

Primarily, the activity aimed to promote cooperation spirit among the participating countries and to provide avenues for knowledge sharing and exchange of agricultural information and technology between and among the ASEAN member states and the Philippines. In addition, the exchange visit also aimed to establish a Community of Practice (COP) for e-Extension within the ASEAN region.

Among the lectures delivered during the 10-day ICT exchange visit programme includes Knowledge Management (KM) Initiatives for Agriculture and Fisheries Extension by Dr. Alexander G. Flor, a KM expert and a professor at the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU). Likewise, Jose Rey Y. Alo, ATI's e-Learning process adviser, presented the ICT-based Solutions for Agricultural Extension.

As part of the initiative to share knowledge and promote the exchange of agricultural information the participants visited and observed some of the Philippine ICT-supported initiatives for agricultural development. The delegates took part in field visits to International Rice Research Institute’s (IRRI) Rice World Museum, a briefing on the Rice Knowledge Bank and the IRRI-initiated project called Cybervillage in Victoria, Laguna. Furthermore, the delegates also travelled to northern Luzon for a visit and observe the ICT-supported initiatives for research and extension of the Philippine Rice Research Institute, Philippine Carabao Center as well as ATI-Regional Training Center in the Cordillera Administrative Region.

ATI Director Asterio P. Saliot said that the Philippines is very privilege to be the first host of the ASEAN ICT Exchange Visit and hopes that “every ASEAN member states will alternately host activities like this as we expand and explore more in electronic extension program.”

The ASEAN ICT Exchange Visit Programme was held last September 22 to October 1, 2013 at Bayview Park Hotel in Manila, with field learning visits at Quezon City, Laguna, Nueva Ecija and Benguet.