Pinoy youth urged to engage in agriculture

Ric Sapnu - The Philippine Star
Pinoy youth urged to engage in agriculture
A farmer dries rice grains at a road in Baliuag, Bulacan on October 9, 2023.
STAR / KJ Rosales

SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga,Philippines —  The government is stepping up efforts to encourage the Filipino youth to engage in agriculture.

The Philippine Rice Institute (PhilRice), an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture, has partnered with volunteer organization Kiwanis International for the establishment and maintainance of a campsite at the FutureRice Farm in Nueva Ecija.

The camp is expected to attract the youth to engage in farming as most farmers today are aging.

Glenda Hufano, governor of the Kiwanis International-Philippine Luzon district, said on Friday that the project aims to educate children not only about rice, but also to raise them to be progressive and entrepreneurial food producers.

“The campsite will provide an engaging and educational alternative to malls and digital entertainment. Campers can try farm adventure games such as kayaking and obstacle races while learning about rice technologies including farm machines, digital apps and renewable energy,” Hufano said in a statement.

At the FutureRice Farm, campers will get to see high-yielding rice varieties and experience farm automation and diversified farming, she said.

Citing information from the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture, Hufano said that with the typical age of Filipino farmers falling between 55 and 59 years, experts forecast that the Philippines will face a critical decline in the number of farmers in 10 to 12 years.

“There is a need to re-engage the youth in agriculture. We need to encourage the younger generation to view agriculture as a viable business venture,” she said.

Kiwanis International will co-sponsor the annual ceremonial harvesting at the Rice Garden in Rizal Park, which was established for urban dwellers, especially the youth, to appreciate the importance of rice to the country’s culture, nourishment and economy.

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