DA strengthens partnership with LFTs-A A +A
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BUTUAN CITY -- The Agri-Pinoy Rice Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) called for an Agriculture Extension Worker-Local Farmer Technician (LFT) partnership to complement the effort of the department in boosting agricultural productivity and sufficiency in the country.
To attain the objectives of Food Staples Sufficiency Program (FSSP), the DA set its vision to enhancing effectiveness by strengthening the delivery of extension services to rice farmers and accelerate the adoption of new technologies and “best practices” through the Local Farmer Technician Program (LFTP).
Based on research studies, the need to increase the number of extension workers remains high as formidable number of farmers are not reached by the limited number of agricultural extension technicians. At present, the rice farmer-to-LGU technician ratio is more than 150:1.
New and improved technologies and other farm support interventions can reach more farmers by strengthening the LFTP.
According to DA-13 regional technical director Edgardo D. Dahino, LFTs are very effective partners in carrying out extension services because of their first-hand experiences in rice production.
Aside from that, LFTs were also trained on the principles and concepts of rice science enabling them to become rice farming technicians.
“Caraga region has now 98 LFTs who were trained and now acted as partners and active players in the development and promotion of modern rice production technologies in low yielding rice-growing areas in the region,” Dahino said.
Aside from strengthening LFTP, community seed banking was also introduced as an extension tool to increase farmer’s access to quality seeds. The facility is controlled and operated by farmers themselves.
DA had also invested in trainings to fully equip the LFTs. (PR)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 26, 2014.