Smart, DA offer free online course on farming basics

Published January 31, 2021, 5:00 AM

by Madelaine B. Miraflor

Wireless services provider Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), together with the  Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), has provided a free and extensive online learning course on farming basics.

This, according to Smart, should help more Filipino farmers adapt to the digital shift during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Called the Digital Farmers Program (DFP), the program is an initiative that teaches small-scale farmers to use digital tools and maximize the latest mobile technologies.

Smart said the extensive online course is now available via ATI’s Learning System at Materials include LinkedIn-style microlearning videos based on the beginner course of DFP.

“Bringing DFP to a virtual platform will allow the program to reach more people and raise awareness on the many possible opportunities in agriculture,” Smart Vice President for Community Partnerships Darwin F. Flores said.

The pioneering collaboration between Smart and ATI aims to level up farmers’ productivity and marketability through training on the basics of smartphone use, accessing the Internet, online safety and security, agri apps, social media, and social media marketing.

Launched in 2019, DFP linked technology-savvy youths and youth organizations with farmers, so that the latter could tap the digital space, and consequently, establish a channel for exchanging ideas with potential next-generation farmers—from using modern agricultural technologies, to discovering time-tested farming traditions.

The program has already reached more than 30 provinces across the country, benefiting more than 1,000 smallholder and intermediate farmers.