PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), together with the Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI), recently launched the latest module of the Digital Farmers Program, DFP 103, focused on sustainable agricultural technologies.
“In the last three and a half years since PLDT, Smart, and DA-ATI launched the Digital Farmers Program, we have heard testimonials from small-holder farmers who have greatly benefitted from the digital tools and concepts of DFP 101 and 102, We are hopeful that our ladderized capacity-building program will help improve the lives and livelihood of more farmers around the country, with the help of digital technology,” said Stephanie V. Orlino, Stakeholder Management Team Head at PLDT and Smart.
A first of its kind, the piloted DFP 103 training module aims to accelerate capacity building among farmers and farm technicians, including the youth in farming communities, and develop their knowledge and skills in using available farming technologies to further boost productivity and income.
Princess Dianne Calanza, owner of Chandy’s Integrated Farm, a rice-based farm located in Capiz, one of the many farms that participated and succeeded with the help of digital technology, shared their experience from the DFP 101 and 102 trainings in the past.
“We have operated for almost a decade without any online presence, no digital promotions or social media postings. After attending DFP trainings, we began capitalizing on digital tools like Facebook, Maya, and Canva, and we were able to effectively promote our products, expand our market, and increase our profit from 20% to 100%, shared Princess.
She added, “We have also been actively imparting the knowledge we have gained in DFP to other farmers in their neighboring communities. We wish to pay it forward and share what we have learned from DFP so that our fellow farmers and local farms can also flourish through technology.”
One of PLDT and Smart’s core advocacies is digital inclusion in agriculture. Through DFP, PLDT, Smart, and DA-ATI aim to extend more livelihood opportunities to farmers through technology, highlighting the tangible benefits it can provide and how it can increase profits over time.
DFP 103 also aims to continue what DFP 101 and 102 have started and to build upon that momentum to help improve the quality of lives of farmers through adopting new technologies.
PLDT and Smart underscore the role of technology as a concrete means of empowering farmers and transforming their lives and livelihood for the better. This is also aligned with the UNSDG #8: Decent Work.