As I have been oriented on how organic farming is being practised, I am for it.
Visiting some organic farms recently convinced me that we can go back to the way things were.
I was amazed with the food that we tasted, with the drinks they gave us. With simple preparations and without artificial seasonings, they tasted so good. That's why slowly I am doing it at home.
I am not a farmer, I did not even grow up in a farming community. But I get to learn some farming techniques when I started to work at the Agricultural Training Institute about 15 years ago (whew, that's surely a lot of learnings and realizations I should have right now).
At first I thought I wouldn't enjoy agriculture, the very reason why I didn't focus my elective courses in college on agriculture, but I took some agricultural economics instead. Little did I know, you wouldn't learn the economics of it if you have no knowledge on farming.
We'd like to give a salute to the man who made us realized that Philippine e-Extension and ATIiNteractive possible. He made himself a part of the ATI family and pushed us to embrace change and think outside the box. With him, we were able to push through with e-learning and expanded it further to embrace the different components of the e-Extension Program for Agriculture and Fisheries. We were able to put up the Farmers' Contact Center, which now serves as a frontline helpdesk of the Department of Agriculture for farm and business advisory services and a technical support for e-Learning.
SACY is what we called him when he was still with the Department of Agriculture. It stands for Secretary Arthur C. Yap, a man we have known that has high standards since we started working with him. I remember he had some frustrations with ATI as the Institute could hardly cope up with his expectations as the training and extension arm of the Department.
As we are conducting our regional consultations for the establishment of the Farmers Contact Center, we heard from our partners in the field their various ideas, perspectives, suggestions and comments on opening a new mode of communication with our clients. Some accepted the idea, some though may have doubts if this is really possible, if we can do it, if it would be acceptable to everybody. Though the idea of this initiative is evolving, we are open to whatever will come our way and we will try to fit it if we can to whatever we do.
"When I am hungry, you call a meeting. Yet I am hungry.
You organized a team to solve my problem, still I am hungry.
The team visited my farm. Still I am hungry."
This was shared by ATI RTC VI Center Director Allan Alimodian (which he got from a Sri Lankan friend) when he delivered his message during the closing program of the Regional Consultation Workshop on Knowledgebase for Agriculture and Fisheries held last September 19, 2009 in Iloilo City.
Extension services continue to evolve. With the challenges that extension workers and farmers face, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) continues to explore various strategies to improve its efforts as the extension and training arm of the Department of Agriculture. In over 30 years, the ATI has celebrated various successes and learned from the lessons during hard times. Nonetheless, we are proud to be standing the test of time through the support of our partners and the clientele themselves. This is the ATI Today, more committed to bring you extension services beyond boundaries.