Support needed to turn farmers into scientists
Economist Cielito F. Habito said in his column that support from the private sector is needed to help farmers become scientists, effectively improving their lives.
In his column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Habito emphasized how Farmer Scientists Research, Development, and Extension Training Program (FSTP) — which was spearheaded by 2012 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee Dr. Romulo Davide in the early 1990s — helped boost some farmers’ income.
“Jose used to be a vegetable farmer and part-time tricycle driver up in the hills of Barangay Ablayan in Dalaguete, Cebu. He earned around P100,000 in a year, or a little more than P8,000 a month, barely allowing his family to make ends meet,” Habito said.
“But with their agribusiness venture, he and his wife Reberah now earn P30 million a year, working with more than 100 contract grower farmers. They own four delivery vehicles of multicab pickups and trucks, and now live in a three-story house in neighboring Argao, where they have since settled,” he added.
Jose and Reberah were the first millionaires under FSTP.
Habito said that Davide is now seeking support from the private sector to expand FSTP to even more depressed provinces, especially in Mindanao.