Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) is now promoting sustainable livelihood by supporting AgriTalk, a program of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Agricultural Training Institute (ATI).
The virtual training series, made in collaboration with the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) and the Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation (MB), aims to highlight opportunities in agribusiness by featuring farming experts and success stories on agri-entrepreneurship.
Smart’s support for AgriTalk reinforces the shift from on-ground trainings to virtual capacity building sessions, in view of the current restrictions on public gatherings. The webinar series ran for the whole month of October.
“There is a need to communicate farming as a viable business venture. Bringing AgriTalk to a virtual platform will help reach more people and raise awareness on the many possible opportunities of agribusiness,” Smart VP for Community Partnerships Darwin F. Flores said.
AgriTalk discussions covered the production, processing, and marketing of specific commodities, involving the entire value chain.
Through the lectures of the resource persons, and successful stories and tips of featured farm business owners during the activity, they will have a clearer understanding of the importance of product processing and marketing to increase their productivity, competitiveness, and profitability.
AgriTalk follows the success of the Digital Farmers Program (DFP), a collaboration between Smart and ATI aimed at leveling up farmers’ productivity and marketability through training on the latest mobile technologies.
DFP links technology-savvy youths with small-holder farmers so that the latter could tap the digital space, and consequently, establish a channel for exchanging ideas—from using modern agricultural technologies, to discovering time-tested farming traditions.
Under DFP 101, farmers are trained on the basics of smartphone use, accessing the Internet, Internet safety and security, agri apps, social media, and social media marketing. Advance phases will include lessons on mobile agriculture and financial services such as third-party farming apps, mobile e-money, and microcredit, entrepreneurship, smart farming, and financial literacy.
The DFP is an advocacy of Smart Communities, which taps Technology for Development to narrow down the digital divide.
The program is also aligned with the commitment of Smart’s parent company, PLDT, to support the 17 Sustainable Goals of the United Nations, particularly in promoting decent work and economic growth.