“For the last 12 years of its implementation, the Techno Gabay Program (TGP) has been recognized as one of the innovative approaches for effective and meaningful agricultural technology transfer system”, Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) Executive Director Patricio S. Faylon said during a round table discussion (RTD) on agricultural extension, e-information, communication, and statistics held recently at the Traders Hotel, Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City.
“TGP has been proven effective in terms of increasing technical efficiencies of farms, yields, and residuals or net farm income”, Faylon explained, citing the result of a study conducted in seven regions which involved more than 1,000 respondents.
According to Faylon, since the program started in 1997, the number of Farmers Information and Technology Services (FITS) centers all over the country has ballooned from five to 740.
FITS is one of the four major components of the program. The rest of the program’s components are the Magsasaka-Siyentista (MS); Information, Education and Communication (IEC); and Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
The PCARRD Executive Director also emphasized two important policies that institutionalized TGP in the country: the Department of Science and Technology- Commission on Higher Education Joint Memorandum Circular No. 001, Series 2008, and the Executive Order 801 signed in 2009 by then Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The former mandates state universities and colleges to adopt TGP in their extension and outreach programs, while the latter encourages local government units to adopt the program in their agricultural extension program, as well as the appropriate agencies to provide the required assistance for the purpose.
“Together with Agricultural Training Institute, the Council will continue to pursue with the Department of the Interior and Local Government the enactment of local ordinances to provide logistic support to TGP’s sustainability”, Faylon added.
In closing, the PCARRD Executive Director said that the future of TGP will include the strengthening of FITS centers; upscaling of the Science and Technology-based Farm (STBF); and enhancement of the Pinoy S&T Service modalities composed of community-based STBF, One-Stop-Information-Shop, and the TechnoMart Program.
Incidentally, the RTD was conducted in preparation for the forthcoming 33rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) which will be held in July 2011. Pia Paula P. Mateo, S&T Media Service