SIBAT’s Sustainable Agriculture Training Center (SATC) is now being enhanced for the showcasing of various technologies as learning venues for the ongoing trainings primarily for poor farmers. Currently, the resource and library center has now a wide array of references while improving in-house staff knowledge and communication/training skills to effectively communicate the contents and activities especially when conducting trainings or hosting eco-tour visits from LGUs, Academe, advocates and practitioners.
Correspondingly systematized promotion of courses, fee structures and related services are intensified while dormitory facilities have initially been constructed for live-in trainings and exposures.
SIBAT’s learning modules and pedagogical content are drawn from actual experience of POs and NGOs, based on the 27 years of SIBAT’s Sustainable Agriculture development work. That the SATC is physically situated in SIBAT’s Mangarita Organic Demonstration Farm also strengthens hands-on learning. Various SA trainings have been conducted for farmer peoples’ organizations and farmer co-operators that have contributed to accelerating adoption of organic farming practices with partner farming communities.
The dormitory for trainees is now built that can house 15-20 participants for SIBAT's sustainable agriculture trainings, both basic and advanced short courses for farmers, sustainable agriculture advocates, extension workers, NGO development workers, and other interested groups and individuals that wants to learn how to initiate and establish organic farming systems in their own backyards and farms.
Sustainable Agriculture Training Center (SATC): Main Objective
“Reach and influence the greatest number of farmers, women and youth who promote, develop and advocate Sustainable Agriculture principles and technologies.”
We believe that organic food production is a sustainable and viable approach to address food insecurity and malnutrition of the rural poor families in the Philippines.
SATC institutionalizes the capability building efforts of SIBAT in Sustainable Agriculture (SA) for it to provide more sustained and effective technological resources to the growing number of farmers, practitioners and advocates of organic farming.
SATC provides trainings to farmers, community organizations, local government units and non-government organizations and interested individuals on skills and knowledge about SA and appropriate technology.
SATC is housed in Mangarita Organic Farm which demonstrates how SA can sustainably support farming households, here participants learn the skills of how SA technologies are applied.
More and more farmers, practitioners and advocates of SA in the different sectors are recognizing SATC as a venue to further their knowledge and skills in SA principles and technologies.
For this year, SATC has received numerous requests for trainings and exposure trips to the organic demonstration farm, most of which are farmer’s and women’s organization. It is very hard for us to turn down some requests as we cannot accommodate all of them with the little funds that we generate from the demo farm.
To cater to their needs, SATC needs to further improve the facilities of the demo farm and training center. Now, the training center can accommodate 15 participants in its very simple Nipa House cum training center and requests coming in are for groups of 30 to 50 participants. Training materials (audio-visual and other training modalities) are also limited and needs improvement to cater to the growing number of requests and to better share the principles of SA. This is aside for the board and lodging cost.
SATC was built upon the dream and persistence of SIBAT to better and effectively reached out farmer’s, women’s and youth organizations. It was founded with very meager funds from the organization’s savings and heartfelt commitment. Currently, we are starting to harvest the fruit of our labour, but then, it is still a long journey ahead of us.
SA is for all ages and for people in the different walks of life – if you love nature, want healthy living, if you want to see harmony and peace and if you want to enjoy the fruit of your labour, if you love science and indigenous/traditional knowledge --- All is in SATC!
However, to be able to do this we need your support --- materials, funds, skills, knowledge, and warm bodies.
SIBAT’s project team consolidated and laid down long term plans for the establishment of the Sustainable Agriculture Center (SATC) towards its goal of propagating and promoting the principles and practice of Sustainable Agriculture and Appropriate Technology, within the framework of genuine agricultural development most especially for rural poor communities in the Philippines.
SATC is a learning training and resource center that will provide theoretical and practical learning instructions where practice shall aim for the application on field, in communities and advocate for its further promotion and adoption of clean organic production, and as such will be a resource center for information, library and documentation of farmers’ experiences and knowledge.
The following are SATC’s strategies and approaches in achieving its goal of ensuring food security for rural poor Filipino villages through sustainable agriculture development: linking theory and practice based on SIBAT’s experiences with farming communities; participatory technology development in all processes; providing the necessary skills training and monitoring advisories for rural farmer technicians; continuing conduct of farmer driven researches; and information dissemination of experiences and research outputs most especially for farmers and extension workers.
SATC will be an important part within SIBAT’s work in sustainable agriculture, and to its other appropriate technology programs in rural sustainable development.
SATC is located in SIBAT’s Mangarita Organic Farm (MOF) in Capas, Tarlac which will serves as demonstration and practicum site. The farm is SATC’s demonstration showcasing different techniques and approaches in clean organic production for small farmers.
SATC continuously provides primarily the rural poor Filipino farmer cooperators the following modular topics: (1) farmers’ capacity building, (2) participatory technology development, (3) 11 technology modular trainings on sustainable agriculture technology development, (4) appropriate technologies on farm mechanization support, (5) social and cultural dimensions of agriculture, (6) program/project development cycle and processes, (7) organic marketing standards, and (8) organic enterprise development and food processing.
The Sustainable Agriculture technology modules are: (1) diversified integrated farming systems, (2) organic rice production and system of rice intensification, (3) alternative pest management, (4) soil fertility conservation and management, (5) water systems development and management, (6) bio-intensive gardening and food always in the home/vegetable production, (7) upland technology development and mitigation technologies, (8) climate change adaptation and mitigation technologies, (9) urban agriculture and container gardening, (10) food processing and storage, and (11) integrated community-based seedbanking and seed technology.
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