As it joins the nationwide call to “Grow Local. Buy local. Eat local. #SupportOurRiceFarmers” in celebration of the National Rice Awareness Month (NRAM) this November, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) brings its extension services to a new level to reach more farmers and consumers in the country.
With the “new normal” protocols requiring less physical contact, the ATI used online media to drum up collective support for Filipino rice farmers, particularly to encourage stakeholders to buy local harvests at a reasonable price and patronize locally produced rice.
Last November 16, ATI’s network of Regional Training Centers (RTCs) launched “RiceTalks”, a webinar series offered for free to promote the importance of the propagation and consumption of local rice. Topics included are practices in seed selection, integrated and intensified rice farming, nutrient management, post-harvest management, and processing.
The benefits of brown rice and information and communications technology used in rice farming were also discussed.
Each episode, which featured one topic each for the morning and the afternoon sessions, was streamed live through Facebook. The recorded videos can be re-watched on the respective pages of the RTCs and on the ATI’s main page at www.facebook.com/ATIinteractive.
The two-week series will wrap up on November 27 with ATI Northern Mindanao’s “Journey to Success: Stories of Rice Farmer-Entrepreneurs (Part 2)” and ATI Cagayan Valley’s “Rice Morphology and Growth Stages”.
“To all rice farmers, you are the lifeblood of our industry. We salute you all,” chef Roy Resurreccion said during his cooking demonstration in ATI Bicol’s “RiceTalks” episode featuring rice-based product processing.
In this session, Resurreccion cooked different rice dishes with a touch of international recipes, where he took note of the high quality and competitiveness of locally produced rice.
Meanwhile, ATI MIMAROPA Center Director Pat Andrew Barrientos urged stakeholders to remain optimistic on the recovery of farmers from the effects of the pandemic, the typhoons that passed, and the trade liberalization.
“[Our support] for our fellowmen is important especially during these times… Let us buy rice produced by our dearest Filipino rice farming heroes,” he said.