To help more Filipino farmers adapt to the digital shift brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, wireless services provider Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) and the Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) have taken their Digital Farmers Program (DFP) training series to the digital space.
The extensive DFP 101 Online Learning Course is now available via DA-ATI's Learning System at http://e-extension.gov.ph/elearning. Materials include LinkedIn-style microlearning videos based on the beginner course of DFP, an initiative that teaches small-scale farmers to use digital tools and maximize the latest mobile technologies.
“Bringing DFP to a virtual platform will allow the program to reach more people and raise awareness on the many possible opportunities in agriculture,” Smart VP for Community Partnerships Darwin F. Flores says.
The pioneering collaboration between Smart and DA-ATI aims to level up farmers’ productivity and marketability through trainings on the basics of smartphone use, accessing the Internet, online safety and security, agri apps, social media, and social media marketing.
Launched in 2019, DFP linked technology-savvy youths and youth organizations with farmers, so that the latter could tap the digital space, and consequently, establish a channel for exchanging ideas with potential next-generation farmers—from using modern agricultural technologies, to discovering time-tested farming traditions. The program has already reached more than 30 provinces across the country, benefiting more than 1,000 smallholder and intermediate farmers.
Even in the face of the current pandemic, DA-ATI and Smart sustained efforts to roll out DFP training sessions either in physical or online training setup. "We are expanding our training capabilities as we do things online more and more,” DA-ATI Director Alfredo Aton said during the first virtual interactive training for trainors workshop for DFP organized by Smart.
The DFP 101 Online Learning Course can be accessed by anyone - from farmers, agri-preneurs, and cooperatives and learning sites that want to train their own workers. Simply follow these steps:
1. Go to: www.bit.ly/LearnDFP101
2. Click “Main Course Content for Digital Farmers Program (DFP101)”
3. Select “Continue” to sign up for an enrollment key
4. For first time users, click on “Create new account”
5. Complete the form to sign up for an account. A confirmation email will be sent to your email address.
6. To access the enrollment key, send a message to 0920-946-2474 with your Complete Name and DFP101. Example: JUAN DELA CRUZ, DFP101
7. A four-digit enrollment key will be sent to you. Use this login key to access the course.
Advanced phases of DFP will include lessons on mobile agriculture and financial services such as third-party farming apps, mobile e-money, and microcredit, entrepreneurship, smart farming, and financial literacy.
The #FarmSmart advocacy of Smart promotes the use of digital technology in the agriculture sector to help ensure inclusive development. The program is also aligned with the commitment of Smart's parent company and the country’s largest integrated telco, PLDT, to support the 17 Sustainable Goals of the United Nations.(SMART Public Affairs)