Agriculture chief wants to make farming ‘sexy’ for young Pinoys
Make farming sexy. This is the new motto of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala in wanting to attract a younger generation of farmers to the agriculture industry.
“We want to make farming sexy again to younger Filipinos just like Farmville in your Facebook – colorful, sexy and rewarding,” Alcala said, as he underscored the importance of having a younger generation involved in ensuring the food security of the country in the coming years.
The DA chief cited the interest of the younger Pinoys on farming games and apps on social media and wants to translate this interest to real life, a challenge that he and his team are working hard to achieve.
While recent statistics hint that the DA has not quite fully piqued the interest of the age bracket it is targeting, there has been some headway on this front.
With the introduction of new technological tools and farm mechanization, research shows that in the past five years, the average age of a Pinoy farmer of 57 years, is now in the range of 43-44 years old, suggesting that there is an openness to engaging in the agricultural industry among younger farmers.
Alcala, however said that while this is a welcome development, they want to engage an even younger generation to embrace the industry to build the future of the trade in the country.
“We’re encouraging the youth to take up agriculture courses because farming nowadays is not as hard as before, with the help of technology and farm mechanization equipment,” Alcala said.
He said that these young farmers could very well be the spark needed for the country to achieve 100 percent rice sufficiency in the coming years, something which the government is working hard to achieve.
The Philippines has posted some gains in the past five years on this front, improving to 97 percent in rice production as opposed to 81 percent rice sufficiency in 2010 but there is still room for improvement to fully achieve the country’s vision for the agriculture sector. (ANGEL ONG)