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Pat Andrew B. Barrientos, Center Director

Our agency’s furtherance to go forth with its mandate embodies a unified and efficient agriculture and fisheries extension system consistently achieving optimum results over the years.

I have personally witnessed how our clienteles and stakeholders nobly express their appreciation and trust with ATI as it touches their hearts in believing the agency’s maximum efforts upon reaching out and building capacities albeit technological, educational, socio-economic and political dynamics. Be that as it may, MiMaRoPa center stays geared towards providing excellent extension services beyond boundaries. We take pride upon the provision of grants for extension projects under EXPAND Program where strengthened linkages and partnerships among different agencies were manifested through the implemented proposals from SUCs, DTI, DOST, BFAR, LGUs, Private Sector, SEAFDEC, LSA/SPA Cooperators. For the year 2018, a total of 17 LSA/SPA/ESP were accredited and certified through collaboration and hard work from Partnership and Accreditation Services Section (PASS). These are among the highlights that manifested the agency’s effectiveness with all its undertakings in pursuit to provide sustainable agricultural development. Indeed, the ATI MiMaRoPa’s target accomplishments from the previous year have achieved remarkable milestones.

In the face of economic hardships and formidable agricultural turmoil, tough innovations and strong will to step up to the challenge of food security is our top priority. We are at the height of “Gen-Z or E-Gen”, the generations that edify vis-à-vis fast-phase milieu and therefore, adaptation to the technology of Digital Agriculture conceivably will lead the way to a more resilient farming and improve the agricultural value chain brought by this new development. But most of all, it is necessary to nurture and empower the youth of today as they are the nation’s future agricultural entrepreneurs to drive our food security. And without a doubt, the Agricultural Training Institute MiMaRoPa is here as a perfect avenue where the youth can proactively engage themselves to ascertain diverse opportunities on the road to economic prosperity.

Just recently, a blow of change to the Rice industry gave a shock wave to many Filipinos. Will it bring chaos to the nation since the goal to attain rice sufficiency at this instant is just a trip down memory lane? Nevertheless, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol stated: “Let us not abandon rice farming for the future of your children. The DA is here to protect the farmers”. This was his message and assurance during the South Luzon leg of the nationwide information campaign and stakeholders’ consultation on the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Rice Trade Liberalization Law on February 27, 2019 at the Southern Tagalog Integrated Agricultural Research Center in Lipa City, Batangas. This means to say that the government is ready to provide assistance to our farmers for them to be competitive in rice production. Intact vision and mission of the agency is at a standstill though it may bend over, the government is firm to lay its support and ensures smooth implementation of the law.

On the other hand, it is highly commendable to value the contribution and hard work of our lowly farmers who never get tired of tilting lands, grounding themselves to different farming practices and faces the rear of our food protection. Farmers are our heroes and caretakers of the land for many generations to come and the fruit of their labour is rooted and defines the distinction of our Filipino culture.