CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — More Learning Sites for Agriculture (LSA) are needed in Northern Mindanao to further promote modern farming, especially among the youth.
This was according to officials of DA’s Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) in Region 10, who said rice farms — in particular — are better suited for the establishment of LSA to teach the young generation the value of farming.
Maria Lydia Echavez, ATI-10 training center’s officer-in-charge superintendent, on Sunday said Region 10 already has 91 LSA and 14 “School for Practical Agriculture.”
Maria Eloisa Akut, OIC-chief of ATI-10 Information Services Section, underscored the importance of more agriculture training sites to supply the demand for rice-based vocational courses of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda).
“Tesda is in need of rice-based LSA now because they lack the school for their rice competitiveness fund,” Akut said.
In addition to LSA, two Extension Service Providers (ESP) in the region also have the capacity to conduct training independently and can directly receive funding based on approved projects.
ATI considers LSA as farms “practicing applicable agricultural technologies, employing doable farming strategies and operating successfully, thus, worthy of emulation,” according to DA-ATI website.
An LSA also serves as models for applicable agriculture technologies and agri-products or by-products’ processing technologies, it added.
For an existing farm to become LSA, applicants must undergo different processing stages, starting with an endorsement from the local government.
Noemi Beth G. Macario, ATI-10 OIC-assistant center director, said the institute has been adapting to modern communication and information technologies since last year in order to promote agricultural products and also entice the young generation to engage in farming.
“We partner the youth with the parents so that the youth can learn from them the invaluable wisdom of going into farming, while the parents can learn modern technologies,” Macario said.
On January 29, ATI-10 launched three books that chronicled the best practices and success stories of youths engaging in farming, including former communist rebels who availed of ATI-10 programs. (IAMIGO/PNA/sovereignph.com)