Towards a Climate Change-Ready Agri and Fisheries Sector, ATI Organizes 1st Extension Symposium

The Plenary Speakers during the AFE Symposium (Photo by: Clemente Gabion)

DILIMAN, Quezon City – Anchored on mitigation and adaptation schemes for the impact of climate change in the country, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) held its First Agriculture and Fisheries Extension Symposium gathering speakers from its partner agencies and from the graduate scholars of the Expanded Human Resource Development Program (EHRDP).

With the theme, “Extension Innovations for Sustainable Development,” the symposium was one of highlights of the weeklong anniversary celebrationn of the Institute held last January 30, 2014 at the newly inaugurated Rural Development Education Center (RDEC) at ATI Central Office.
The symposium aimed to provide inputs and updates on current extension initiatives and innovative extension practices designed to address the issues of climate change, with a total of 117 participants composed of directorates and staff from ATI-Central Office and its network of training centers, EHRDP scholars, representatives from the Agriculture and Fisheries Extension Network of the Department of Agriculture, state universities and colleges and other national government agencies.  
Highlight of the symposium was the plenary sessions on: Adaptation and Mitigation Initiatives in Agriculture (AMIA) – Climate Smart Agriculture Extension System by Dr. Rowena DT. Baconguis, Professor at the College of Public Affairs of the University of the Philippines Los Baños; Practical Climate Change Mitigation: The KISS Approach by Dr. Catalino S. Blanche, Program Director of the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture; and Climate Change Adaptation Practices in AFNR among the Indigenous Peoples in Region 2 by Dr. Manuel S. Tan, Jr., Dean of the Graduate School in Cagayan State University.
Also included in the symposium is a showcase and contest of climate change-related studies that were sponsored by ATI through EHRDP, otherwise dubbed as the “EHRDP Scholars Paper Presentation”.  The entries for the best paper and best poster included the top researches from the various regions in the country.  Ms. Ma. Cecilia Cruz Gatbonton of Region 4A won the Best Poster for her study on “Sprouting Characteristics and Nutritional Changes of Different Mungbean Varieties”.  While Dr. Ricardo D. Diño of Region 5 brought home an award on the Best Paper Socio-economic Research Category for his paper on “Dynamics of Pineapple Production Operations in Camarines Norte and its Contribution to the Province Economy”.  And the Best Paper on Applied Research Category was awarded to Dr. Berta C. Ratilla from Region 8 for her paper on “Energy Productivity and Efficiency of Rice Grown in Various Nutrient Sources Quantum Enhancers and Water Management”.
The papers and posters were evaluated and judged by experts from ATI and its partner DA agencies such as the Bureau of Agricultural Research, Bureau of Plant Industry, Bureau of Plant Industry, and the Philippine Rice Research Institute, as well as from the Central Luzon State University.