Engaging Kids in Agriculture through Junior Farmers Training

Junior Farmers Training last November 30,2018 ( Photo credit from Biñan City Organik Farm facebook page)

Binan City Junior Farmers Training offered free to residents of Binan, ages 7 to 11 years old, and nearby towns.

The Binan City Organik Farm has been firm and strong in its advocacy to impart the importance of agriculture, particularly organic farming, to the country’s younger generation.

With the success of their pilot implementation in October 2018, the Mondo Bambini Clubhouse in Brgy. Zapote paved way to the second batch of training with participants composed of kids from their subdivision.

First batch of Junior Farmers Training

A series of trainings was held at the Activity Area of the Binan City Organik Farm in Brgy. Dela Paz last October 26-28 for the first batch of kids from different barangays and nearby town, and November 30-December 2 for the second and latest batch. Both groups were composed of 25 Junior Farmers.

“The purpose of this program is to familiarize the kids with farm life, as well as to let them experience how to feed the animals and how to plant,” said Farm Head Dick Borlaza.

Impact of Junior Farmers Training

Aside from planting crops, they were also taught to tend farm animals as feeding the latter creates a sense of responsibility mong these children.

Borlaza also emphasized the vitality of instilling the importance of agriculture and farming to the minds of children early on because if not, there might be no more farmer to till the land twenty years from now.

“Kaya po maganda na hangga’t maaga po natuturuan na po natin sila. Kung pwede nga pong gawin na isang semester ang junior farmers training ay gagawin namin kasi po nakikita namin sa mga bata na tuwang tuwa po sila,”
(It is better to teach them in advance. If only it is possible to conduct the junior farmers training for one semester, we would because we can see that they were enjoying it.)

Activities of  the Training

Moreover, through this program, they have promoted among their young participants the joy of playing without using gadgets.

The “Larong Pinoy” or pinoy games which Filipino kids have grown with like Patintero, Piko and Football were introduced to the kids. Art activities were also incorporated in the training to foster creativity among them.

They also added a fire drill session during the second batch of training to help equip the children in times of disaster, specifically when a fire breaks out.

These undertakings have provided additional knowledge to the young participants apart from the fundamentals and hands-on activities in organic farming.

Feedback of the Training

At first, the organizers of the event were hesitant with the idea considering the target participants of this project belong to a generation extremely attached with high technology – spending most of their time using their smartphones, tablets and computers.

Surprisingly, they were gratified with the outcome since the feedback of the kids, their parents as well as the onlookers, fellow farm workers, and even the high ranking officials from the city local government was affirmative.

“Natuwa po silang lahat (they were all happy)!” he said adding that even their Chief Executive, Mayor Arman Dimaguila urged them to continue running similar activities.

It seemed to be a tall order in the beginning yet the result had been overwhelming.

Future Prospect of Junior Farmers Training

The Organik Farm will be implementing another batch of training in the summer season of 2019. They are open, however, to any organization or government office who would want to partner with them and sponsor the same kind of training.

The farm head urges parents not to be afraid to let their children experience this kind of training. For the moments of joy in working with nature should be considered as an invaluable treasure, especially as it produces incomparable happiness in the heart of those young children who take part in the training sessions.

This also develops appreciation towards farming and inculcates lessons that are outside the box which help them think critically and discover potentials.

“We were expecting them to practice what they have learned even in a very short period of time. We are optimistic about this because the impact of this program to them is very touching, we have witnessed how happy they were with the activities they’ve undergone during the sessions,” he said.

He also appealed to everyone to support their cause of promoting in the communities the significance of farming.

Without someone to step up and encourage the new and coming generations to embrace farming, there will come a time that there will be no more farmers to do the dirty and hard work. Without farmers, there will be no food in our tables, he pointed out.

“Malayo man po ang ating lakbayin sa usapin ng Agrikultura, ang mahalaga po ay atin na itong nasimulan (We might still have a long way to go with regard to Agriculture, but what’s important is we already have started).”

The children who were being trained as junior farmers through this project are giving a glimpse of hope to the future of agriculture in the Philippines.

Written by Joy Gabrido, PIA 4A

If you are interested to know more about the training and their farm, do not hesitate to visit their facebook page Biñan City Organik Farm

Source: Training junior farmers: a hope for agriculture

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