ASEAN Training Talk on Blogging about Organic Agriculture and the New ATI Learning and Discovery Center in Quezon City!

One of the most fun and self-learning experiences I've had so far this year was speaking for fellow Asians at the Agricultural Training Institute of the Philippine Department of Agriculture. This particular training was conducted here as part of the agreement and participation of the Philippines with the ASEAN. It's surreal and the opportunities keep evolving - what all that travel blogging has taken me so far. I would like to take this opportunity to thank ATI for my organic journeys around the Philippines. My life was truly changed from that moment you introduced traveling to farms to me. For a bite of that experience here in Manila, let me just tell you guys that they've just opened the ATI Learning and Discovery (LeAD) Center for students and the public at their compound in Quezon City. Some of the farms and farmers we went to are featured there and there are dioramas related to Philippine agriculture and dissemination of agri information in the country.

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It was truly an honor to meet the guests from Thailand, Indonesia and southern Philippines. I didn't even notice that more than an hour had passed by already with me talking away haha.

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This is a glimpse of the ATI LeAD Center for Agriculture and Fisheries. You can find a history of agricultural extension in the Philippines (since 1500s!) here. To put things simply, even in the old times, information about the latest practices were disseminated mostly to farmers this way. It began through the Granjas Modelos or model farms set up by the Spanish government as experiment stations and demonstration centers for farmers. Recently, thru blogging, they found a way to consumers like me as well :)

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Have you ever heard of the term "mariculture" ? I think it's something unexplored for most of us even up to today. Agriculture is important we cause we are primarily an agricultural country but we are also an archipelago with abundant water sources so it's equally important.

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These dioramas are based on farms from all over the Philippines.

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To maximize space (and probably has other logical explanations), one can put different fruits and plants together like Papaya and Pineapple under a Coconut tree. This combination is a Lanzones and Eggplant under a Coconut tree suggestion :)

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They defined Organic Agriculture here.

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They have the processes of coffee farming, poultry raising, swine raising, etc. on the boards.

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These are the extension programs and projects available at the Agricultural Training Institute.

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They offer eLearning Courses as well.

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It's fun for me to see the concepts and processes simplified into one area. I think though that once you experience going to farms first, you might appreciate this place more like me because it's no longer a concept. I heard they plan to do that here in the compound as a 2nd phase so that the visitors can experience an actual garden or mini farm in an urban setting. That's something I'm already looking forward to =)

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There's an entrance fee of P50 for now to enter. 

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I love this wall of farmer scientists (Magsasaka Siyentista). Mr. Costales of Laguna, Mr. Penalosa of Negros, Mr. Pat Acosta of Benguet and a lot more we've met in our organic journeys are featured here =)

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People like them have taken the challenge to develop new and improved technologies for fellow farmers and lead them to alternative and more sustainable ways of farming.

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I've also taken note of a particular youth organization in Zamboanga City - the Monteverde 4H Club. Hopefully, I can visit them personally in the near future. I'm sure I could draw a lot of inspiration from these youngsters.

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Another one that got my attention was in Mindanao also in Bukidnon. I was actually drawn to the Binahon Agroforestry Farm. The place looks inviting in the pictures. I want to learn more about upland practical farming in the Philippines for my first Bukidnon trip! =)

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So, maybe you can visit this site if you're into agriculture and for added knowledge =)

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ASEAN Training Talk on Blogging about Organic Agriculture and the New ATI Learning and Discovery Center in Quezon City!

Details:
ATI LeAD Center for Agriculture and Fisheries
ATI Central Office
ATI Bldg. Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City
929-8541
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