500 join free agri seminar

MORE than 500 farmers and agriculture enthusiasts have gathered at the event center of SM CDO Downtown Premier for a one-day seminar on urban agriculture last Friday, May 24.

A collaboration of Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Manila Bulletin, Bureau of Agricultural Research and SM Corporation, AgriTalk 2019 is a free one-day seminar intended to highlight opportunities in in agribusiness by featuring experts and success stories in various agricultural fields.

"Importante gyud ning AgriTalk kay para lang ma-abri bitaw nato ang huna-huna, maka-inspire sa uban, dili lang gyud para sa mga farmers kun dili pati tong mga gusto nga mag venture kay kami sa Agricultural Training Institute, as the training arm of the Department of Agriculture, dili gyud namo ma reach tanan," Maria Lydia Echavez, OIC center director of ATI, said.

(AgriTalk is important so that our minds would open up to many possibilities and would serve as an inspiration to others. This is not only for the farmers, but also to those who wish to venture in agriculture business. Because we at the Agricultural Training Institute, as the training arm of the Department of Agriculture, we could not reach everyone given our own capacity)

Three topics were discussed during the AgriTalk, namely: Mushroom Production, Squarefoot Gardening and Beekeeping.

The aforementioned topics were presented by resource persons such as Honorio Cervantes, a Ten Outstanding Farmers awardee and the owner of a 300 square meter farm devoted to squarefoot gardening which has been a popular destination for ari-enthusiasts; and Dr. Maria Dulce Mostoles of Central Bicol State University Regional Agriculture Center, who is an active advocate in the promotion of beekeeping using stingless bees.

"Isa sa among pangandoy nga mahikayat nato ang mga (one of our aim is to invite) young professionals, ang mga (our) young generations to go into agriculture, to go into farming or gardening," Echavez said.

"Even if you will not become a farmer, you are not enrolled in agriculture, but don't forget to plant para nga ma (to the) garden or para makatabang sad sa atong mga (in order to help) farmers," she added.

Last Friday's event in Cagayan de Oro City was the second AgriTalk conducted this year, Echavez said. The first one was held in March at SM Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

Two more AgriTalks are scheduled in the third and fourth quarters of this year, in Cebu City and DasmariƱas, Cavite, respectively.

ATI is the extension and training arm of the Department of Agriculture, mandated to train agricultural extension workers and their clientele and lead in the delivery of e-extension services for agriculture and fisheries.


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