The Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) opened the first Farmers’ Information and Technology Services (FITS) kiosk here to provide access to information and services to farmers.

The FITS Kiosk at Javenri Harvest Farm in Barangay Sta. Cruz is designed to serve as an extension facility of the FITS Center, managed by the local government unit.

Center director Pat Andrew Barrientos of ATI-RTC Mimaropa said that the FITS kiosk should be accessible to farmers, visitors, and stakeholders requesting information and advisory services related to agriculture.

“One of the schedules na ginagawa rito ay pag-aaral, pag-research, pagkuha ng IEC materials at lahat ng impormasyon na nais nila malaman na may relasyon sa ginagawa nila sa kanilang lupang sinasaka,” he said.

The FITS Kiosk is one of the components of the Techno Gabay Program based on Executive Order No. 108, series of 2009. The program is a framework for a more effective and sustainable strategy for bringing needed information and technology to the countryside.

The Kiosk should also ensure that the materials, supplies, and other provisions provided under the project are properly used.

The Javenri Harvest Farm is a recipient of ₱70,000 in funding from the ATI, which will help the farm procure needed equipment inside the kiosk.

Its three-hectare land area houses free-range chickens, goats, tilapia, a coffee plantation, and organically planted crops.

In partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the farm also served as a learning site for agriculture-related programs.

The accreditation as FITS Kiosk is viewed as a milestone by Farm School Director Bryan John Dizon for their eight-year operation.

“Ang purpose, kaya tayo nagpursige na maging FITS Kiosk, ay para makumpleto ‘yong tinatawag na holistic approach—Hindi lang kailangan na mag-enroll sa scholarship. With the FITS Kiosk, anyone, anytime,” he said.

City agriculturist Melissa Macasaet encouraged the public to immerse themselves in farm schools and demo farms to acquire a better understanding of agriculture.

“Kailangan tayo ay matiyaga at dedicated sa ating mga farmer—nandiyan ang mga ahensya para sumuporta,” she said.

The city government, through the city agriculture offices, manages a Gintong Butil Farm, which also caters to training and learning sites. Every weekend, the management opens the farm situated in Barangay Sta. Lucia for visitors. (RG/ PIA Mimaropa-Palawan)