On May 15, 2024, the National Executive Director of the Integrated Rural Development Foundation (IRDF), Ms. Arze Glipo, met with Ms. Elsa A. Parot, the Regional Director of the Agricultural Training Institute Region V (ATI-R5). The meeting focused on renewing IRDF’s accreditation and certification as a Learning Site for Agriculture (LSA) and exploring other innovative educational initiatives aimed at uplifting small farmers in the region.

The LSA model farm, managed by IRDF, employs appropriate agricultural technologies and integrated farming practices, serving as an exemplary demonstration site. It showcases sustainable agricultural methods and introduces processes for income generation through Agri-product production.

For over five years, IRDF has partnered with ATI-R5, maintaining a Techno-Demo Farm where farmer members learn various agricultural technologies. This farm has served as a hub for exploring practical and innovative agricultural insights. IRDF’s collaboration with ATI complements other agriculture projects implemented by IRDF in partnership with the Department of Agriculture.

During the meeting, Ms. Glipo also highlighted IRDF’s plans to expand the Techno-Demo Farm’s program to cater specifically to coconut farmers. This expansion aims to establish a Coconut-based Learning Site for Agriculture (Coco-LSA) Farm, which is part of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP). The CFIDP program aims to boost the income and productivity of the country’s 2.5 million coconut farmers, promote poverty alleviation, provide suitable education, ensure social equity, and support the rehabilitation and modernization of the Philippine coconut industry.

Through this ongoing partnership with ATI-R5, IRDF can significantly assist farmers via the Learning Site for Agriculture (LSA) program, promoting sustainable and profitable agricultural practices.