The Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) is one with the United Nations in the celebration of the 2020 Desertification and Drought Day.
This year's observance focuses on changing public attitudes towards the leading driver of desertification and land degradation: humanity’s relentless production and consumption.
As populations become larger, wealthier, and more urban, the demand for land to provide food, animal feeds, and fiber for clothing grows larger. Meanwhile, the health and productivity of existing arable land is declining, worsened by climate change.
The Philippines is hit by typhoons at an average of 20 per year. Every time a major typhoon hits, damage cost amounts to millions, sometimes even billions of pesos. Previously this would not even make me think twice, just take in the news and move on. But recently with Typhoon Nona, reports about cost of damage particularly in agriculture made me think twice and ponder, “Are they really assessing the damage right?”
Upland barangays of Ormoc City is no stranger to calamities. They experienced loss of livelihood when their abaca plants where eradicated due to “bugtok”. Then came financial losses due to typhoons, foremost of which, was Yolanda. The losses were not only to production but also to soil fertility, which contributed to the low market value of products.
The recent typhoon Undoy and Pepeng that struck Metro Manila and Luzon brought great damages to life, property, agriculture, fisheries and infrastructure. Fear and worry was experienced when almost non-stop winds and heavy rains pounded the place. The creeks, rivers and lakes swelled and flooded the lowland areas. The mountains were eroded. Landslides damaged the roads, the bridges and many houses. People in affected areas were scampering for safety while the unlucky ones perished. We asked where is the safe ground? where is my protection? to whom will I run for refuge?
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.