MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon (PIA)--A farmer scientist refresher training course was conducted recently by the Agricultural Training Institute-Regional Training Center (ATI-RTC)-10 through its Career Development and Management Services (CDMS) in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.
Twenty-four farmers in Kitaotao, Bukidnon, most of whom grow corn, were trained to become farmer scientist trainers. These trainers will then run the Farmer Scientist Training Program (FSTP) Phase III. The refresher training course intends to capacitate its participants by providing them with a training course on farming techniques and value development.
FSTP is an integrative, three-phase agricultural research, development, and extension methodology. The program aims to uplift the condition of poor farmers through a corn-based partnership program for sustainable agricultural development.
"For this particular refresher training course, the participants were taught various corn-based farming systems and their importance to hilly land farmers, cultural management practices, farm record keeping, as well as community organizing. It is integral that they learn and acquire such knowledge to further their skill set and to create a core of farmer-scientist trainers that will conduct more FSTP trainings, particularly Phase III," says FSTP and Corn Focal Person Noriel Kris O. Santillan.
The farmer-scientist participants are required to undergo a refresher course to ensure that they are capable of conducting the farmer-to-farmer training. This training also underscores the sharing of their field knowledge and skills they have learned from the FSTP training with other farmers as a requirement of the training course.
The farmer scientist will serve as the resource person to share and discuss specific topics in corn-based production systems in their respective barangays and neighboring farming communities. They will also experience research by establishing an experiment farm where different trials and treatments are conducted, which will be useful for technology dissemination and transfer with their other farmer participants.
FSTP was crafted through Executive Order No. 710, Series of 2008, also known as the "Nationwide Adoption of the Corn-based Farmer-Scientists Research, Development, and Extension Training Program for Sustainable Agricultural Development to Liberate Poor Farmers from the Bondage of Poverty and Hunger."
The program started in 2021, and its realistic goal was to improve farmers' knowledge, skills, and attitudes through a three-season training program, research, and experiments.
In a nutshell, Phase I inculcates participants with the teaching of moral and spiritual values, research methods, and technical empowerment. Phase II is focused on the replication of the experiments conducted at their respective farms. By Phase III, the farmer-scientists taught their fellow farmers as trainers the technologies that they had already adopted.
The Farmer Scientist Refresher Training Course was held in Kitaotao, Bukidnon, on March 7–9, 2023, with the help of the FSTP-UPLB and the LGU-MAO. (ATI-10/PIA-10)