ATI Central Luzon Spearheads the Launching of RAFEN

The Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), being the national orchestrator for a unified and efficient agriculture and fisheries extension (AFE) system, has been establishing partnership mechanisms to harmonize extension delivery. One major initiative is the establishment of the Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Extension Network (RAFEN). RAFEN plays an important role in the implementation and accomplishment of strategic goals and interventions enumerated in the 2017 Regional Extension Agenda & Programs (REAP) and the 2017-2022 AFE Strategic Plan. The participation of partners through the RAFEN will serve as the vehicle to achieve the common goal of improving the lives of clients and making the AF sector competitive. To fully realize the presence of RAFEN the ATI in Central Luzon conducted the RAFEN Launching and on May 18, 2016 in the DA-RFO III Conference Room, City of San Fernando, Pampanga. The activity formalized the collaborative partnership of the National Extension System Agenda Program (NESAP) subsystem of the national government, local government units and the private sector in AF extension delivery. The event was attended by thirty two (32) heads of agencies and AFEN Focal Persons from National Government Agencies (NGAs), State University Colleges (SUCs) and Private Sectors (PS). The meeting started with the discussion on the legal bases of the AFEN and its critical role in the efficient and effective delivery of well – coordinated training and extension programs, projects and activities. It was then agreed to adapt the name “Central Luzon Agriculture and Fishery Extension Network (CLAFEN).” The highlight of the event was the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), to signify the commitment of the partner agencies to harmonize the extension programs and activities. This is to make a difference and create better impact in the lives of the communitiesin the region. Also, the network recognizes the role of the ATI as the lead and apex agency for training and extension, thus, access to funds from the DA RFO III will have to be reviewed and endorsed by the CLAFEN through the ATI RTC III. Furthermore, Central Luzon State University (CLSU) was identified as the CLAFEN representative to the Extension Service Provider (ESP) Council for the regular program and Tarlac Agricultural University (TAU) for the Organic Agriculture Program. Meanwhile, the Bulacan Agricultural State College (BASC) was identified as Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) representative to the ESP Council both for the regular and Organic Agriculture Program. Finally, to sustain RAFEN, it is important to have strong partnership and linkages between and among the members of the CLAFEN and to organize the Provincial AFEN. (GDReyes)