Education through agri extension
Ernesto Ordoñez, in his column for the Inquirer, said that the agriculture extension is significant in in improving the state of agricultural sector in the country.
About 3,000 extension workers currently assigned under LGUs, he said, must be required to have continuing professional education for the agricultural extension to work. This is significantly crucial because local farmers and fisher folks rely on technology to be able to strive against imported goods.
He added that despite the vast lands and natural resources available in the country, we are a food importer, instead of being a net exporter. Ordonez cited that rural poverty in the Philippines is at 40%, double compared to that of Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand.
Agri-fisheries Alliance (AFA), last December 2015, cited six priority endorsements from a list of 50 for presentation to the presidential candidates. Last April, then candidate Rody Duterte said that the agriculture extension failure was a major factor behind the decline in the agriculture in the Philippines.
However, Ordonez said that there are two problems concerning the agriculture extension.
“First, too many of the agriculture extension workers devolved to the LGUs are being assigned by the mayor to do non-agriculture jobs. Thus, agriculture is neglected in favor of political tasks” he said in the publication.
“Second, when these workers actually do agriculture, they are not equipped with the most recent technologies which need to be transferred to the farmers and fisherfolk” he added.