The School-on-the Air (SOA) Program of Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) in Davao Region acts as a productive tool of instruction in delivering agricultural information to farmers, an impact study of the University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) confirmed.
The research entitled Impact Study on the SOA Program of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) in Davao Region measured the effectiveness, impact, and sustainability of the radio program as an educational platform for farmers to learn agriculture technologies.
Based on the study, farmers found SOA as an effective means of educating them because it directly delivers the information to their homes at their most convenient time through a radio.
The farmer-respondents of the study, who were enrollees of the SOA on Organic Agriculture in the year 2016, also said that the SOA influenced their attitude, skills, and knowledge towards the adoption of organic farming technology. Data showed that about 94% of the respondents have engaged in organic farming after they have participated in the SOA.
Moreover, the farmers also claimed that they were able to use the knowledge they have acquired to increase their yields and help others establish an organic farm.
With 86.89% of the farmer-respondents are below the poverty threshold, knowledge of organic farming became significant assistance in terms of cutting down production expenses of their vegetable farms. Farmers said they were able to make organic fertilizers instead of purchasing synthetic ones in the market. With lessen production costs, farmers were able to increment their income and savings.
The SOA also empowered the farmers to engage in entrepreneurial activities according to the study. They said that they were able to sell the produced of their organic farm to their neighbors. Some ventured into making and selling organic processed food such as papaya atsara.
With this, the study affirmed that the sustainability of knowledge obtained by the farmers from the SOA is perceivable for they're able to continue to apply their acquired knowledge and make an income out of it.
ATI Davao Region commissioned the conduct of the study as part of the monitoring and evaluation of ATI programs and services.