The Department of Agriculture (DA) encourages youth to pursue farming as a business as the department identified the need of interest in agriculture.
Moreover, the average age of farmer is already increasing. At present, the average age of farmers is 57 years old.
In order to solve the gap, DA urges young generation to engage in farming.
“Young people are attracted to jobs that pay high but without a promise of career growth or skills development. And they often trade this over agriculture or farming that require patience, perseverance. So, there are cases that no one in the family will develop the farm because it is not appealing,” DA Undersecretary Natividad Caballero said in a media interview during the Knowledge Learning Marker & Policy Engagement Summit 2019.
“One of the platforms where the youth could engage in farming is through DA’s Digital Farmers program, where old farmers are introduced to market their products online via social media with the help of their millennial kin,” Caballero added.
Further, as youth to pursue farming, Caballero emphasized that farming is not that easy for young generations to venture alone, family is also needed to help.
During the summit, best practices of the farmers and agriculture experts were imparted.
“In Ifugao, Mountain Province, the famed Banaue Rice Terraces has been deteriorating because of environmental degradation and unregulated development brought about by urbanization,” Virginia Agcopra, project coordinator of Dynamic Conservation and Sustainable Use of Agrobiodiversity in Traditional Agroecosystems of the Philippines, said.
“One of the reasons for this is that the local residents, those who are supposed to utilize, maintain, and protect this heritage site, are veering away from farming due to changing values and to pursue more lucrative sources of income,” Agcopra added.
Respectively, Agopra highlighted that today’s generation pursue non-agricultural jobs because of high salaries.
The initiatives of non-government agencies such as “the Dynamic Conservation and Sustainable Use of Agrobiodiversity in Traditional Agroecosystems of the Philippines project aims to address the challenges being faced by the UNESCO recognized landmark by implementing interventions to regain Ifugao youths’ interest in agriculture. enhance farming skills, and enrich their knowledge on the value and importance of agrobiodiversity and its indelible ties to their unique culture”.
On the other, the lesson plans and workbooks are enhanced by Asian Development Bank. The intention is to create the awareness regarding the importance of fruit trees and the products derived from them and traditional taming equipment and their uses towards the students.