"Who Wants to be a Millionaire"

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This was the question posted by Mr. Ramon Penalosa, owner of a micro-model of an integrated farming system practicing natural farming system in a 0.3 ha. farm in Silay, Bacolod, Negros Occidental (it was already my third time to visit the farm but the man never fails to arouse my interest and enthusiasm to become an “agri-preneur” and become a millionaire someday).

Well, who doesn’t want to be a millionaire, but being one by just utilizing 0.3 ha of land will lead you to think that the man is insane. However, my doubts slowly weakened as he creatively and participatively showed us how, by making us as models of his integrated farm pretending to be crops (I was a pole sitaw who enjoyed climbing a supposed to be withering sweet corn stubble). After the role play/simulation, a whoooping 1.4M pesos was the computed gross income. My doubts went puff!!

He proceeded to reinforce his claim by presenting the business tree, again, using participants as models. Using the various parts of the body, he emphasized the roles of Marketing (left hand), Finance (right hand), Organization (right leg), Production (left leg) and Management (head). It was like listening intently to a professor discussing business management in a lively way.

He wrapped up his presentation by sharing the four advocacies he fosters. First, is that “No Filipino should go hungry in his own land”. Second, “There is no unproductive soil, only unproductive farmers”. Third, “there is money in the countryside” and last, “a farmer who does not know how to pray is not a good farmer”. His advocacies maybe simply stated but with depth. They touched my heart and opened my mind that still, there is really hope and future in farming and for our farmers only if we educate them to become agri-preneurs.

ATI Today

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.