DA, TESDA Join Hands with Key Agri Associations to Boost Mechanization

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(L-R) TESDA Director General Isidro Lapeña, DA Secretary William Dar, and Engr. Dennis Tactac of PSABE seal an agreement for agricultural mechanization skills enhancement. (photo by Angelica Marie Umali)

DILIMAN, Quezon City—To accelerate the development of the Philippine agriculture and fisheries sector, the Department of Agriculture (DA), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Philippine Society of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineers (PSABE), and the Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers and Distributors Association (AMMDA) inked a partnership for a mechanization skills enhancement program.

As he led the ceremonial signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the concerned agencies and associations, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said that the joint program is in line with the goal of the Department to increase production and income of the farmers and fishers.

“We have a big role to play to make our farmers more productive, competitive, and prosperous,” Dar remarked.

The Secretary furthered that DA is looking to engage all stakeholders from the field of extension, including state universities and colleges and civil society organizations, to intensify agricultural skills development.

TESDA Director General Isidro Lapeña and Engr. Dennis Tactac of PSABE signed the MOA with the DA Secretary.

The collaborative program, dubbed as “Train to Mechanize Philippine Agriculture and Fisheries,” aims to enhance the skills of agri-fishery machinery operators and technicians, as well as agricultural and biosystems engineers.

The program includes the development and roll-out of training regulations on agri-fishery mechanization and agricultural and biosystems engineering; crafting of qualification map; establishment of agricultural and biosystems engineering career progression and specialization; and support the implementation of training and extension under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund.

Through the program, DA is expected to sustain and strengthen the implementation of training programs for agricultural and biosystems engineers. This will be carried out through the Department’s bureaus and attached agencies, which include the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and the Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering, among others.

Key DA officials were present to witness the MOA signing particularly, Ariel Cayanan, Undersecretary for Operations; Andrew Villacorta, Assistant Secretary-designate for Operations, Agribusiness and Marketing; selected Regional Executive Directors; and heads of concerned bureaus and attached agencies.

Issues and concerns on the Rice Extension Services Program between DA and TESDA were also discussed as part of this activity held on December 18 at the ATI compound in this city.

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.