Benguet farmers fly to Japan for 3-year exchange program
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Twenty nine farmers from Benguet who availed of the three-year Young Farmers Exchange Program (YFEP) flew to Japan today, August 22, the provincial agriculture office here said.
Office of the Provincial Agriculture (OPAG) supervising agriculturist and program coordinator Delinia Juan said the 29 technical intern trainees will stay in Japan for three years to learn new techniques, technologies as well as strategies in agriculture.
The knowledge they will gain from their hands-on technical and practical training in Japan will be their asset when they come back home. “They can use whatever they learned and also share to their fellow farmers in Benguet,” Juan said.
The 29 young farmers come from the municipalities of Sablan, Tublay, Mankayan, Kapangan, Buguias, Kabayan, Bokod, Bakun, Atok and this capital town.
Including the 29 who flew today, there are now 104 intern trainees from Benguet province for this year alone.
The exchange program is a continuing activity that started in 1997. It is covered by a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Benguet provincial government with Kochi Tobu Agricultural Development Cooperative and Kurishio Agricultural Development Cooperative in Kochi Prefecture.
It provides training opportunities to young men and women who are engaged in agriculture. This aims to improve Benguet’s agriculture through exchanges in technology and farming methods.
In an earlier interview, Eva Mila Leti and Jonathan Santiago, who are among the 29-man group in the fifth batch to leave this year, expressed excitement.
“I feel nervous but excited,” said the 24-year-old Leti of Barangay Kamog, Sablan. Leti, a high school graduate, is into flower-growing.
“It’s interesting and challenging,” said Santiago, also a 24-year-old from Barangay Buyacaoan, Buguias.
Santiago said he expects to learn new farming methods especially on greenhouse agriculture production.
Buguias town produces around 75 percent of the highland vegetables produced in the Cordillera, which are transported and sold to Metro Manila and other parts of the country. (PNA)