Making Pluralistic Extension an Edge through Harmonization: MPSPC Launches Knowledge Products after Undergoing ATI Funded Trainings

BONTOC, MT. PROVINCE. The Mountain Province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC), through its Research Development and Extension Services, staged its “First Knowledge Products for Extension Launching” on February 12, 2020 at the MPSPC Main Campus in Bontoc, Mt. Province. The knowledge products (KP) are outputs of the MPSPC’s extension group after undergoing four ATI-CAR funded trainings.

Prior to the trainings, the Benguet State University (BSU) invited the MPSPC, as well the ATI-CAR, for the Benguet State University Extension Sector Knowledge Products Launching on September 27, 2018. Afterwards the MPSPC underwent the ATI-CAR funded training “Empowering the Extension Capabilities of MPSPC Extension Workers” on October 1-4, 2018. These two events led the MPSPC extension group to conceptualize the MPSPC’s KP for extension. Acknowledging the value of partnership in extension, the MPSPC then submitted to the ATI-CAR, through the Agriculture and Fisheries Extension Network-CAR (AFEN-CAR), training proposals on KP development. In turn, the ATI-CAR, after evaluating the proposals, funded three MPSPC KP trainings implemented on June 20-29, 2019 which are the: (1) Training-Workshop on Knowledge Management for Research, Development, and Extension; (2) Knowledge Products Audit, Development and Management for Extension; and (3) Training-Workshop on KP Monitoring and Evaluation.

In launching their outputs, the MPSPC committed that the knowledge products are for the MPSPC’s diverse client. MPSPC Vice President for Research Development and Extension Annie Grail F. Ekid also lauded the ever flourishing partnership of the MPSPC with other agencies and stakeholders. She added that, through the KP initiative, the MPSPC finally has extension frameworks it can claim as homegrown. Ms. Ekid also pointed out that the policy briefs are intended for the local legislators to enable them to formulate policies based on research. MPSPC President Rexton F. Chakas then branded the KPs as products “for the college extension, for our extension stakeholders and for the community.”

ATI-CAR Center Director Arlene L. Flores, in her message as guest speaker for the KP launching, commended the MPSPC extension group for coming up with tangible outputs of extension. She emphasized that the Philippines’ pluralistic extension “is not really a problem, rather it is an advantage if we are harmonized.” Ms. Flores then recalled how the partnership between the ATI-CAR and the MPSPC grew through the AFEN as an avenue where the ATI-CAR and other AFEN members can help and complement each other in extension. She also pointed out that the Department of Agriculture (DA) cannot do agricultural extension alone. Thus, she emphasized that stakeholders need to further “harmonize, work together, increase coordination, and cooperation.” She acknowledged that while “this is difficult but if we want it, we have to sacrifice, we have to share.”

Ms. Flores also relayed the “Eight Paradigms of Agriculture” of DA Secretary William D. Dar and stressed Sec. Dar’s trust that “the role of extension is very crucial” in agricultural development. She went on to inform the group about the Secretary’s initiatives in bringing back the youth to agriculture through agripreneurship. She then added that the State Colleges and Universities, such as the MPSPC, will be partners of the DA in this endeavor. Ms. Flores also took the opportunity to recognize the MPSPC’s active role in promoting the ATI’s e-extension program as she awarded a certificate of appreciation for MPSPC in connection with the ATI’s 33rd Anniversary on January 30, 2020. President Rexton F. Chakas received the certificate in behalf of the MPSPC.

Ms. Betty C. Listino, the MPSPC’s KP Editorial Consultant guided the MPSPC extension group during the trainings, the KP production process, until the KP are ready for launching. In recalling the MPSPC’s KP for Extension journey she revealed some of the insights that the extension group realized during the process. She shared that “developing a knowledge product requires not only one expertise.” She then pressed that “group functionality and good communication are important so that diverse knowledge will become complementary and additive.” In this light, Ms. Listino believes that MPSPC has an edge in delivering extension through its diverse academic programs coming from various disciplines. Finally, Ms. Listino recapped that the KPs developed are “part of the larger organizational knowledge that MPSPC is building.” Thus, these are “meant to set an example on knowledge accountability of academic institutions.”

According to Ms. Lestino, it took the MPSPC extension group seven months to complete the knowledge products after undergoing the trainings. The KPs include 14 extension program briefers covering the whole MPSPC, one for each department, and one for the MPSPC MIS. The group also produced two policy briefs for research-based policy recommendations. Moreover, a catalogue of heirloom rice in Mt. Province, and two audio-visual techno-guide in managing fusarium wilt in camote were also prepared. Finally, an institutional video of the MPSPC, and an extension magazine dubbed as Gameng di Sumyaan completed the knowledge products. The authors presented the knowledge products they produced highlighting the purpose and content of each product. MPSPC President Chakas handed the knowledge products to the MPSPC library for use of the College, the community, and stakeholders. Bontoc Mayor Franklin C. Odsey, Ifugao State University Extension Director Mara Joy Nanglegan, and Ms. Esper Feliciano of the Benguet State University Office of Extension Services also attended the MPSPC KP launching. (ACPVelasco)