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e-Extension in the Philippines
The e-Extension Program for Agriculture and Fisheries is an electronic delivery of extension services by a network of institutions to provide a viable modality to the more traditional extension systems for agriculture, fisheries and natural resources sectors. It maximizes the distinct advantage of ICT towards the attainment of a modernized agriculture and fisheries sector by focusing on the creation of an electronic and interactive bridge where farmers, fishers and other stakeholders meet and transact to enhance productivity, profitability and global competitiveness.
4 Memorable Events behind e-Extension in the Philippines
- Launching of the e-Extension Program. This was launched on December 11, 2007 with the introduction of the e-Extension Portal and inauguration of the first component: e-Learning. The e-Learning component initially offered five online courses on various commodities namely goat, durian, citrus, corn and banana.
- Launching of ATIiNteractive. This is the webportal for Philippine extension and agricultural training. ATIiNteractive consists of the official website of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), sections of the e-Extension Portal, ATI intranet, ATI webmail, and the websites of all the ATI Centers spread across the country. ATIinteractive was launched in February 2008.
- Launching of the Text Support. This service was launched in February 2009. This was the initial service of the Farmers' Contact Center. Text Support functions as an asynchronous helpdesk for farmers, fishers and Agricultural Extension Workers (AEWs) by using their cellular phones. Queries are sent in through text and a human agent, supported by a knowledgebase and a network of experts, texts back the reply.
- Launching of the The Farmers’ Contact Center (FCC). The voice and synchronous component of the Farmers' Contact Center was launched on November 28, 2009 by Secretary Arthur Yap at Bohol Tropics, Tagbilaran City. Through this FCC, farmers and fishers, can inquire on agri-related concerns via voice (call), short messaging service (SMS or text) as well as emails and other online communication platforms like instant messaging and the different forums.