Disseminating Agricultural Information through IEC Materials and Social Media Emphasized During ASEAN Training

ATI hosted the ASEAN training on IEC Materials Development and the Use of Social Media for Agricultural Dissemination

DILIMAN, Quezon City – One of the foremost challenges that the agriculture and fisheries sector now is the delivery of needed knowledge to the countryside. From the Philippines to the majority of the Southeast Asian nations, bringing the needed knowledge to the grassroots have been proven to be a daunting task. Taking advantage of the technology breakthroughs and innovative practices to solve this problem is the primary focus of agricultural countries.

In this line, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) organized the ASEAN Training on IEC Materials Development and the Use of Social Media for Agricultural Dissemination. This was participated by 12 delegates representing Thailand (two participants), Indonesia (four participants), and Philippines (six participants), all working for the national government and local governments in their respective countries.

The training primarily aimed to discuss and share various programs and strategies for information dissemination and the emerging trends in using social media in agriculture and fisheries.

ATI Director Asterio P. Saliot mentioned that this training is a commitment of the Philippines to the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Sectoral Working Group on Agricultural Training and Extension in fulfilment to the Medium term plan of the ASEAN. Moreover, Saliot said that this training “only reinforces the importance of communication as ASEAN member countries work toward one vision, one community.”

Among the lectures delivered during the seven-day training included ICT Tools in Information Dissemination by Jose Rey Y. Alo, ATI's e-Learning process adviser, Crafting Communication Campaigns for Agriculture: PhilRice Experience which was presented by Jaime Manalo, IV, Sr. Science Research Specialist of Philippine Rice Research institute and Social Media: An Avenue to Disseminate Agricultural Information that was presented by Ruth Portia Floresca. Likewise, the delegates also met other bloggers and discussed how blogs can be a tool in disseminating agricultural information.

To share the experiences that the Philippines undertake in terms of information dissemination, the delegates took part in field visits to International Rice Research Institute’s (IRRI) Rice World Museum and Gene Bank. They also visited the Costales Nature Farms and Farmers' Information Technology Service (FITS) centers in Pila and Pagsanjan, Laguna.

During the closing program, Saliot encouraged the delegates to continue to exchange information and develop knowledge product even after the training. “I hope that this training is only the beginning of lasting sharing of knowledge,” Saliot said.

The ASEAN Training on IEC Materials Development and the Use of Social Media for Agricultural Dissemination was held last March 15 to 22, 2015 at the Rural Development Education Center at ATI Central Office, Diliman, Quezon City.