KIDAPAWAN CITY – Learning Site for Agriculture (LSA) has been steadily implemented by Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) since 2011. LSAs are owned and operated by farmers who are very much willing to share their technology in farming by opening their gates to the public. ATI XII, as of February 2020, has accredited 44 LSAs in the Region.
On February 28, 2020, one of the accredited LSA has officially been unveiled. Owned by Mr. Emilio La Villa of Brgy. Binungol, Kidapawan City, La Villa Aqua Farm is now open to serve farmers, visitors, and enthusiasts not only in Kidapawan City but also for the whole country.
During the unveiling of signage, Ms. Shirley L. Beldia, Senior Agriculturist of ATI XII and LSA point person of the center, gave an overview and shared the qualifications of becoming an LSA of ATI XII, and the privileges of being an accredited LSA. Ms. Beldia vibrantly shared, “We at ATI focus on the farm, the technology within the farm and the willingness of the co-operator to share their knowledge. Every LSA in Region XII are encouraged to have their unique selling proposition (USP). For La Villa Aqua Farm, their USP is in aquaculture”.
During the program, partners from other government agencies were present. Representatives from Department of Tourism, Local tourism board of the city, and City local government have shown their support towards the launching of the farm as LSA of ATI XII. Atty. Paul Evangelista, representing City Mayor Joseph A. Evangelista, appreciates the efforts of ATI, City Agriculturist Office and La Villa Aqua Farm saying, “We at the city government appreciate the efforts of all our partners in agriculture development. Some youth in the millennial’s generation does not value agriculture. Most are engrossed in their gadgets and computers. Even in careers, most if not all are taking up other careers. The same is true for me. I took up Law and successfully passed the board exams. Only to realize later on in life, that there is money in agriculture. By launching the La Villa Aqua Farm as learning site, generations of Kidapaweños will have the chance to learn and love agriculture and at the same time gain aquaculture technology.”
The unveiling program also included oath taking of officers of the Kidapawan City Inland Fisherfolk Association. Immediately after, a farm tour was conducted to glean what the farm can offer as a bonafide LSA of ATI Region XII.
On La Villa Aqua Farm’s official opening, ATI management encourages partners in the city government to pre- validate other farms that are willing to openly share their technology.
For individuals open to learn can have a venue to gain significant knowledge in their own agriculture journey and in the long run may contribute to food sustainability of Philippines.