AKEANON FARMERS EXPERIENCE DIGITAL FARMING THRU DIGITAL FARMERS PROGRAM 101

The youth-partner assists her farmer-partner in taking photos through smartphone's camera using the techniques they learned from the discussion.

BANGA, Aklan – “I learned how to handle smartphones now, before I only used keypad phone. Thanks to ATI for this Digital Farmers Program 101 (DFP 101) and for the opportunity to widen my knowledge on farming, and most especially on gadgets. Many things came into my mind after this training. I want to make videos of my daily activities on the farm. Also, I am planning to sell online,” expressed Ma. Lerry S. Futosa, a farmer-participant during the first batch of DFP 101 in the Province of Aklan last October 29, 2020, at ATI Region 6’s Training Hall, ASU Compound, Banga, Aklan.

The second batch of the same activity was conducted in Nabas, Aklan last November 5, 2020. The two batches of DFP 101 yielded 40 participants in total that came in pairs – one farmer is equal to one youth. The role of the youth was to coach their corresponding farmer-partner in the hands-on activities. They also helped the facilitators in answering their queries regarding the usage of smartphones and accessing social media applications.

DFP 101, is an introductory course that encouraged farmers to utilize smartphones, the internet, agricultural apps, and social media marketing in boosting their farming productivity. During the hands-on activities, they experienced using the basics of smartphone including taking photos, signed up and logged in to Facebook, posted their first product online, surfed the internet through Google Search, and watched agriculture-related videos through YouTube. They were also introduced to basic agricultural applications such as Rice Crop Manager and Rice Doctor. Aside from that, they were also taught how to enroll in e-learning through ATI’s e-extension that allows them to take agriculture-related courses online.

DFP 101 is a project between the Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) and SMART Communications, Inc., which consists of a ladderized approach in teaching farmers with basic digital tools and technologies, particularly social media. Its learning design is divided into three - DFP 101 (Beginner), DFP102 (Intermediate), and DFP103 (Advanced).