DA, DICT Seal FITS-Tech4ED Partnership

DA Undersecretary Ranibai Dilangalen with DICT Undersecretary Denis Villorente and Tech4ED Project Manager Maria Teresa Camba.

QUEZON CITY, Metro Manila – Information and communications technology (ICT) has made progress possible for society. With this in mind, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) entered into a partnership that aims to further capacitate farmers and fishers in the countryside.

The joint undertaking is for the Technology 4 Economic Development (Tech4ED) Project under the DICT’s e-Agriculture Segment which will complement the services of the Farmers’ Information and Technology Services (FITS) Centers of the Techno Gabay Program (TGP) which is being managed by the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI).

Under this partnership, the DICT aims to support the enhancement of FITS Centers and help in further strengthening its services, particularly in providing farmers with information on how to increase farm productivity, enhance farm technologies for product diversity, and facilitate the availability of current market prices to farmers and livestock growers. The DICT will provide and maintain a secured channel for the FITS Centers in the delivery of agriculture and fisheries-related information to its clientele as well as computer package to selected FITS Centers.

Meanwhile, the DA, through the ATI, will provide links to agriculture-related content and services for the Tech4ED platform, particularly the e-Extension Program for Agriculture and Fisheries and other ICT-enabled contents of the Department. The ATI is also expected to conduct appropriate training and orientation activities to Tech4ED trainers on the different electronic extension services.

“The DA hopes that this partnership will enhance our farmers’ access to agriculture and fisheries technology. Indeed, this will professionalize our stakeholders and improve their lives through information and communication development,” DA Undersecretary for Special Concerns Ranibai Dilangalen said during the ceremonial signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the DICT. With him, the MOU between DA and DICT has been signed together with Undersecretary for Development and Innovation Denis Villorente, as witnessed by Tech4ED Project Manager and DICT Mindanao Cluster 1 OIC Director Maria Teresa Camba.

The signing ceremony was held during the 11th Knowledge Exchange Conference on Community eCenters (CeCs) which was attended by around 300 delegates, comprised of practitioners in the field of ICT for Development and Public Internet Access, including local chief executives, knowledge managers/workers, and other CeC and Tech4ED stakeholders. Some staff from the FITS Centers in the Cavite Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, Sablayan, Mindoro Occidental and Oroquieta, Misamis Occidental FITS Centers were also in attendance, together with their counterpart TGP coordinators.

TGP Coordinator Noemi Beth Macario also spoke at the plenary session about FilFarm which has been serving as an online marketing platform for farmers in Northern Mindanao for years. With this year’s theme “#Partners for Change,” the conference was held at the Aberdeen Court in Quezon Avenue last November 17 and 18, 2016.