Friday, October 5, 2007

THE FARMERS INFORMATION & TECHNOLOGY SERVICES (FITS) CENTER OF KASC

By Marciano Paroy Jr.

Export quality apples are now being grown in Agbannawag, Tabuk, Kalinga Province.

There. I got your attention.

Dilemma: Whenever an enterprising farmer would be in dire need of information regarding, say, a possible change in his crop, or a shift in his farming techniques, he is most oftentimes left scratching his head.

Fact: Farmers and small-scale entrepreneurs always inadvertently find themselves in the dark, lumped with those we term as “not-knowing.” This doesn’t mean though that they lack the initiative “to know.” It’s just that they don’t know where to go, in order “to know.”

Enter the Farmers Information and Technology Services (FITS) Center of the Kalinga-Apayao State College.

Designed to cater to the information needs of the underserved members of the population regarding opportunities that could make them contribute to community development, FITS is a depository of beneficial information and available technology.

The establishment of FITS is not a new concept. FITS Centers proliferate across the country. Some are housed in state colleges and universities; some are managed by local government units (municipal level); and some are even operated by resourceful barangays.

And so KASC, back in 2002, had enough initiative, through Research Director Jovita E. Saguibo, to establish the first (and the only) FITS Center in the province of Kalinga. It has been unrelenting since then in its commitment to serve the information-hungry farmers and entrepreneurs by way of trainings and other extension activities.

In fact, a year after it was launched, our FITS Center in the province was chosen as the Best FITS in the Cordillera. This was then during Dr. Venus Lammawin’s term.

With Dr. Eduardo Bagtang now at the helm of the state college, FITS continues to enjoy the support of the administration. It is still within the fence of the Research and Extension Department – which has recently been re-structured, with Dr. Maximo Garming now sitting at the Extension arm of the unit, and Dr. Jovita Saguibo retaining the most probably uncontested seat at the Research wing of the college.

An invitation: FITS is a storehouse of information; so anyone (farmer, entrepreneur, student, researcher, scientist-expert) can visit the center in KASC and pore over the materials (publications) or look into the scheduled training opportunities and extension activities, or possibly build a tie-up with the center – as long as the welfare of our intended clients take the forefront of our undertakings.

So whether you may want to look into our publications, or look into our training activities, the doors of the FITS Center in KASC are open. There just might be something here that could answer your concern about changing your crop of choice.

Apples cannot, of course, be grown in Agbannawag or anywhere else in Tabuk.

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