Agata Mining Ventures Inc. (AMVI) has rolled out its P423,500 worth of scholarship program to train women in organic agriculture in Jabonga, Agusan del Norte.
The program, a National Certificate II in Organic Agriculture Production under the Technical Education and Skills Development (TESDA), will train some 25 women at AMVI’s Mabakas Techno Demo Farm School.
Mabakas is the only organic farm school owned by a mining company in the region. It offers TESDA certificate courses under the Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP).
Under the program, the students will learn how to raise organic chickens, hogs and small ruminants. It will also train them to produce organic concoctions, extracts, fertilizers, and grow organic vegetables.
Upon completion, they will receive TESDA national certificates.
“It is a wonderful opportunity and we are thankful to take part in this,” a participant to the program, Irish Mae Luna, said. She is a resident of Tagbuyacan village in Santiago town.
“We accept this challenge to learn and I am excited and looking forward to applying the things we will learn in our homes,” she added.
Since 2018, AMVI’s techno demo farm had trained over 1,800 scholars – 544 of whom are female.
School Administrator Sheilah Mae Arcala said the institution offers NC II courses in Organic Vegetable Production, Organic Agriculture Production and DTI Entrepreneurship Skills Training.
The program is part of AMVI’S initiative, providing alternatives to sustain livelihood and secure local food supply amid the pandemic.
“This program provides a good opportunity for our women,” AMVI Community Relations Superintendent Jonathan Bañez.
He expects the women not only to learn but also help in food production.
AMVI Environment Manager Jesalyn Guingguing said the program will remind the students of the region’s rich natural resources.
The company, she said, has rolled out the program “to ensure sustainability in food production in our very own backyards.”
She stressed the importance of women’s involvement in agriculture, empowering and capacitating them.
”We must learn, work on ourselves and start within our homes,” she stressed.
AMVI had established its Social Development Management Program (SDMP) in 2015. It has supported women’s associations in at least eight barangays.
Dream come true
Assistant General Manager Anthony Quijano said the project is a “dream a come true and Agata will expand the program to the other regions in the months to come.”
AMVI’s philosophy of ‘starting it right and keeping the end in mind’ guides the company in building resilient communities.
To date, the company’s nickel laterite direct shipping ore project has provided employment, livelihood, education and proper environmental management programs to conserve the communities’ natural resources.
“Together with our scholars, we will expand and share this opportunity to different places in Mindanao. This is just the beginning,” Quijano concluded.