A growing number of farmers in Central Luzon have started to embrace social media as a tool to boost their production and promote their agricultural products.
Through the Digital Farmers Program (DFP) of the Agricultural Training Institute–Central Luzon (ATI-CL), more farmers in the region have begun to learn different agricultural-related smartphone applications that give them platform to enhance their knowledge and skills and at the same time connect with existing and potential customers to market their crops.
In partnership with Smart Communications, the ATI-CL has been conducting a series of webinars in the region since the last week of September to build the farmers’ capabilities in the use of social media with the assistance of their youth counterparts.
“Napaka-timely ng webinar na ito dahil sa nangyayari sa atin ngayon with the new normal, kailangan talaga natin ang smartphone at internet sa ating pang-araw-araw na buhay. Malaking tulong ito sa amin, katulad kong rice farmer, lahat ng apps na na-introduce ay makakatulong na ma-enhance ang aming production (This webinar is very timely because of what is happening to us today with the new normal, we really need smartphones and the internet in our daily lives. This is a big help to us, like rice farmers, all the apps introduced will help enhance our production),” said Fern Viola, one of the participants, through the ATI’s social media account on Saturday.
Luis Bausa, a participant from Bulacan said, “Noong malaman ko na mayroong ganito ay naging excited ako kasi lagi akong kinukulit ang mga kasamahan ko na tulungan ako sa paggamit ng smartphone. Ang webinar na ito ay nakakapagpa-active ng utak lalo na sa edad ko, magagamit ko ang aking smartphone as a farm owner, learning site cooperator, and speaker for agriculture. (When I found out that there was something like this I was excited because I am always asked by my colleagues who assured to help me use a smartphone. This webinar can activate the brain especially at my age, I can use my smartphone as a farm owner, learning site cooperator, and speaker for agriculture)”.
Under the program, the senior farmers and their younger, more tech-savvy learning partners, undergo online training on basic digital tools and technologies, particularly social media, climate and weather monitoring applications, and e-farming, among others.
By partnering senior farmers with young people, preferably their children or a relative, the ATI-CL is optimistic that the program will encourage the youth to engage in farming.
Among the topics discussed in the webinars are the DFP lessons on smartphone using, accessing the internet, agri apps, and introduction to social media marketing.
Shanemie Carele Daquio, project officer, said that resource speakers also shared some principles in protecting the participants data in using the internet especially in accessing the social media.
Daquio earlier cited the importance of the DFP as an instrument in the future of farming especially the use of the modern technology in the present farming system.
The next DFP webinar will be for farmer-youth tandems in Zambales on Nov. 12, 2020. (PNA)