DILIMAN, Quezon City—The Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) is poised to take on new and more focused initiatives to improve its training and advisory services in line with the OneDA Reform Agenda as it welcomes the leadership of newly designated Director Rosana Mula.
Through Special Order No. 629, Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar designated Mula as Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Director of the ATI, following the retirement of Director Alfredo Aton. Aton served as the head of the agency for about two years starting 2019.
Under her term, Mula is committed to strengthen the Institute’s partnership programs for a more holistic approach in capacitating extension workers and farmer-leaders. She is also expected to lead the ATI’s efforts in line with the full devolution of extension services in the local government units (LGUs) under the Mandanas-Garcia ruling.
Mula first served as Assistant Director of the ATI in August 2019. She also became the chairperson of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund-Rice Extension Services Program Technical Working Group that led different training programs, enterprise development activities, and scholarships on rice production technologies for over 20,000 beneficiaries nationwide.
Despite the limitations caused by the pandemic, Mula led the distribution of agricultural starter kits and the provision of support for the establishment of urban agriculture gardens in barangays, communities, schools, and offices starting 2020. She also pursued several partnerships with LGUs, civil society groups, and national government agencies such as the Department of Education to sustain food production in different communities and institutions.
The new ATI chief has also helped realize the development of the Philippine Action Plan for Family Farming for 2019-2028. As the chair of the Kabataan sa Pagpapaunlad ng Agrikultura at Pangingisda Program, she spearheaded activities that underscore the role of the Filipino family and the youth in countryside development.
Prior to joining the DA, Mula served as professor in different universities, sharing her expertise in agriculture and social development. She also worked as Special Project Scientist and Learning Systems Unit Coordinator at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics in Andhra Pradesh, India for 10 years.
Meanwhile, ATI’s Information Services Division chief Antonieta Arceo also takes her post as the new OIC-Assistant Director starting September 1, by virtue of DA Special Order 630, s. 2021.