DILIMAN, Quezon City—Twenty six staff of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and agricultural extension workers (AEWs) from MIMAROPA, Bicol, and Eastern Visayas were capacitated as future trainers in implementing KlimAgrikultura, a manual that guides farmers in using climate information to improve decision-making in the farm.
The participants include coordinators of climate change, rice, and corn programs as well as chief meteorological officers (CMO) of different regional field centers of the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (DOST-PAGASA).
The activity is led by the DOST-PAGASA and the ATI’s Information Services Division (ISD). This is also in close coordination with program partners, namely, the University of the Philippines-Los Baños and the Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
The KlimAgrikultura manual was developed under the project “Action Ready Climate Knowledge to Improve Disaster Risk Management for Smallholder Farmers in the Philippines” which is funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).
The manual provides technical information for four component sessions on Crop Climate Calendar and Climate Hazards; PAGASA Products and Risk Matching; Verbal Decision Analysis (VDA); and Rapid Climate Decision Analysis (RCDA).
During the training, workshops were held to include activities under these sessions to familiarize the participants on the use of the manual.
In his message during the opening program, ATI Director Alfredo Aton underscored the relevance of climate change-related training for clients and stakeholders. On the other hand, ATI-ISD chief Antonieta Arceo thanked the DOST-PAGASA for their continued support and the participants for their active cooperation.
Arceo assured the group of the ATI’s commitment in mainstreaming and institutionalizing the manual in the existing training programs. She also encouraged the participants, especially the ATI personnel, to promote the manual through other modalities such as the school-on-the-air program, webinars, among others.
After the training, the participants expressed their appreciation for the effort.
“These are tools that we can use in our municipality, particularly in terms of VDA and RCDA which are challenging for us. This will be very useful and, if we are able to relay this effectively to the farmers, they will appreciate this,” Rosalinda Belodo, an AEW from Bicol region, said.
The said training, held last March 15-19, 2021 via Zoom, follows the pilot-testing of the KlimAgrikultura manual in project sites in Baguio and Calapan cities in January and March 2020, respectively. This is also part of the commitment of the DOST-PAGASA and the ATI after the scheduled end-of-project this March.
Another set of training activities will be held by PAGASA in June 2021 and by the ATI, tentatively, in July and October 2021.