The Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) and the National Corn Program conducted two batches of virtual training on Site Specific Nutrient Management (SSNM) Nutrient Expert® for Maize last October 19-21 and October 26-28, 2021 for Bicol, Visayas, and Mindanao regions; and Luzon regions, respectively. The training aims to capacitate Provincial Corn Coordinators, ATI and DA’s Regional Field Office technical staff on the use of the SSNM Nutrient Expert for Maize.
ATI OIC-Assistant Director Antonieta J. Arceo, highlighted the importance of the training in increasing farmers’ income, telling the participants that “the success of the training is in your hands as trainers.” Moreover, DA-BAR Director Vivencio R. Mamaril, PhD., and Director Milo de los Reyes of the National Corn Program both shared their optimism and pledged their support in endeavors such as this, for the country’s corn industry’s future.
Likewise, ATI’s OIC Director, Rosana P. Mula, PhD. applauded the cooperation of the participants, and reiterated their roles in cascading the learnings to the target beneficiaries. Ms. Julia Lapitan, Assistant Head of the Research Coordination Division of DA-BAR, conveyed the bureau’s continuous backing on trainings for the benefit of stakeholders.
The training consists of lectures on the status of Philippine Corn Industry by Dr. Candido B. Damo of the DA’s National Corn Program; Principles of SSNM, and the results of trials with the open pollinated, hybrid and traditional varieties by Dr. Apolonion M. Ocampo of the University of the Philippines Los Baños’ Institute of Plant Breeding (UPLB-IPB); facts about the basic planting materials and fertilizers, and their uses by Mr. Jesse C. Descalsota of UPLB-IPB.
Highlight of the activity was the thorough discussion about the Nutrient Expert® tool, which was facilitated by the developer of the Nutrient Expert for Maize Philippines (NEMPH) herself, Dr. Mirasol M. Pampolino; and a hands-on exercise in using the tool, supervised by Mr. Nel Oliver Mateo, Ms. Jessa Perez, and Mr. Shaun Adrian Villadiego.
The graduates of the training course are expected to serve as regional core team of trainers who will train the agricultural extension workers in their respective regions in using the NEMPH.