ATI, ASSIST Hold Hands in Introducing CSA to Smallholder Farmers

Sen. Cynthia Villar with ImPACT partners from both public & private organizations lead the unveiling of the METOS intrument.

DILIMAN, Quezon City—“If we really wanted to make a significant mark in poverty reduction, helping them is the best way to start.” These were the words of Senator Cynthia Villar, Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food during the project launch of “Improving Productivity in Agriculture through Climate-Smart Technology” or ImPACT Philippines. Villar stressed the need to support our farmers and fishers since about two-thirds of the country’s population is involved in the agriculture sector, directly or indirectly.

Around 70 stakeholders from public, private, and non-government organizations convened to witness the unveiling of the METOS instruments. These instruments will enable farmers to monitor weather patterns and model forecasts for their fields such as temperature, humidity, rainfall, leaf wetness, and insect pressure. Collected data are sent to the farmer’s mobile phone.

The launching was led by Senator Villar; ImPACT Philippines Project Director Joseph Arnel Go; Pessl Instruments GmbH Regional Director Vishnu Nair; Calata Corporation Vice President for Business Development Halmond Parker Ong; Highly Succeed, Inc. Chief Operating Officer Maricar Malaki; and Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) Assistant Director Alfredo Aton.

“With climate-smart technology, smallholder farmers are equipped to make better decisions even with changing climates,” Go explained as he presented the overview of the said project. ImPACT Philippines aims to introduce Climate-Smart Agriculture to smallholder farmers to increase farming productivity and to improve food security in the country through the installation of Pessl-manufactured METOS solution.

For its part, ATI will lead the skills training of farmers and agricultural technicians. ATI will also manage their exposure to new farming methods driven by Climate-Smart concepts in the 4th stage of the project.

Hence, the Institute commits the needed resources to ensure the success of the capacity-building component of this project. “We are honored to be a part of this pact that aims to uphold “climate justice” in the agriculture sector. We underscore the importance of information and communication in empowering our farmers to make climate-smart decisions, manage risks, and avoid unnecessary interventions that can hamper their productivity,” acknowledged Aton.

Likewise, ATI OIC Director Luz Taposok stressed that the Institute will provide training support to the farmers thru its 300 learning sites in the country. “We will deliver quality extension services to our partners by connecting with other bureaus and agencies for their after-training support,” Taposok added.

The municipality of Buguias in Benguet is the project’s pilot site, aiming to help the farmers there manage their use of farming inputs. The METOS technology, developed by the project partner Pessl Instruments, will be provided free for the farmers in the said municipality.

ImPACT Philippines is implemented under the DeveloPPP program of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development through DEG. Moroever, it is supported by ATI and Calata Corporation.

This launch was held on May 15, 2017 at the Rural Development and Education Center, ATI Compound.