ATI, BAR strengthen partnership to improve R&D in farm sector
Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) have strengthened their partnership as part of the government’s effort to increase investment on research and development (R&D) in order to improve farm productivity.
“Agricultural R&D, to a large extent, exists separately from extension. R&D is crucial to develop knowledge and new technologies while the role of extension is critical in facilitating the adoption of new innovations at the grassroots level. A seamless connection between these communities is desirable in promoting technology-driven productivity,” BAR Director Nicomedes Eleazar said.
With access to appropriate technologies being still a constraint in the rural areas, Eleazar underscored the need to bridge the gap between those who have the technologies and those who need them most.
“We should not just deliver vital information to our farmers, but also see to it that they are enabled to convert such information into knowledge-based action,” he further said.
Representatives from ATI and BAR recently convened to draw up interventions to strengthen the complementation of the R&D and extension functions in the agriculture sector.
During the meeting, ATI Information Services Division chief Antonieta Arceo spoke of the past collaborations of the two bureaus including the development of e-Learning courses and for the implementation of the Rice Crop Manager, thanking BAR for their continuous support to ATI programs.
“We cannot stand alone that is why we work with R&D agencies and institutions such as BAR in identifying content for our training programs. We are very grateful for this workshop where, finally, after so many years of working together, we can sit down to unify our strategies,” she said.
Among the interventions identified to ensure sustained RDE complementation is the creation of a technical working group (TWG) composed of representatives from both bureaus.
This TWG will lead the coordination of RDE activities of BAR and ATI, for which a protocol or mechanism will be developed.