ATI, PNB Promote Digital Inclusion through Transforum 2019

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ATI Information Services Division chief Antonieta Arceo at Transforum

ATI Information Services Division chief Antonieta Arceo talks about the Digital Farmers Program at this year's Transforum. (photo by Angelica Marie Umali)

MABALACAT CITY, Pampanga—The Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) has partnered with the Philippine National Bank (PNB) for the 2019 Transforum: Connecting You Forward.

ATI Information Services Division chief Antonieta Arceo served as one of the keynote speakers during the event. She shared the Institute’s efforts to shape a digital-inclusive agriculture sector.

One of these initiatives is the Digital Farmers Program (DFP), which is implemented in partnership with the Smart Communications, Inc. Public Affairs Group. According to Arceo, DFP addresses the challenges of the agriculture sector, which include the aging Filipino farmers and the youth’s declining interest on agriculture as a career.

She explained that DFP is a program that takes advantage of the increasing use of information and communications technology tools and applications among farmers in terms of information-exchange, crowdsourcing, and marketing.

“DFP is a learning journey for our stakeholders to go through the digital age and a series of foundational activities for a digital farming ecosystem,” she said.

"Hopefully, after this program, we could have digitally transformed farmers, more youth farmers, and, ultimately, digital inclusion in the agriculture sector," she added.

Transforum highlights the importance of innovation and digital transformation in economic development, particularly for the people, the government, and various businesses. PNB President Jose Arnulfo “Wick” Veloso also stressed that the undertaking was created to develop a platform for multi-sector exchange of ideas in relation to digital transformation.

Other speakers in the event were Cathlyn Dolor Pavia, Head of the VisMin Enterprise Group of Mynt and Francis Reyes, Group Chief Financial Officer of Unido Holdings, Inc. They talked about transforming business through innovation and changing business model to include e-Commerce, respectively.

Transforum was held last November 12 at Clark Marriott Hotel in Pampanga. PNB commercial banking clients including farm industry stakeholders, officers, and partner vendors were among the attendees.

ATI Today

Extension services continue to evolve. With the challenges that extension workers and farmers face, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) continues to explore various strategies to improve its efforts as the extension and training arm of the Department of Agriculture. In over 30 years, the ATI has celebrated various successes and learned from the lessons during hard times. Nonetheless, we are proud to be standing the test of time through the support of our partners and the clientele themselves. This is the ATI Today, more committed to bring you extension services beyond boundaries.