More people into agriculture


AS IT STANDS | Roman Floresca

When I open my computer upon waking up early in the morning one of the very first things that greet me is a feature about an agricultural item.

Accounts that I haven’t seen one year ago started cropping up. And they can be refreshing.

Sometimes I wished that I should have planted this or that crop. There are so many ideas that you can get by simply tuning in to those programs where you can get a variety of ideas.

But then the government itself has done better. It has thought of something better for all of us. Younger folks who have seen so little of the earth can sign up to be among our new breed of farmers.

They can take the lead from farmers who have been tilling the land all their lives. And these farmers can have a restful retirement from their job of tilling the land from the moment they wake up until sundown.

The young generation of farmers have to take the lead both in tilling the soil and in keeping the book of accounts straight and profitable. That’s right.

The new agriculture should not merely teach the new breed of farmers how to plant crops. It should also teach them how to make a profit so that we will see the new agriculturist not only as one who knows how to plant but also one who knows how to plant profitably.

The average age of the Filipino farmer is 57 years and what he knows about farming is what he sees and what his father taught him. This places a risk on the nation’s food security. We should try to put a stop to the outward migration in agriculture, especially the fishing sector.

The fish sector is one of the sectors which receives the least amount of help from anybody. The most that they can get from the government is a fishing boat which even in this backward part of the world is considered obsolete.

The dwindling population of the agriculture sector is coupled by fewer younger people entering the business of farming. The 2018 Census of Philippine Business Industry showed that the agriculture, forestry and fishing establishments employed about 6 percent less than the total employed in 2012.

The Department of Agriculture recently launched the Mentoring and Attracting Youth in Agribusiness (Maya) program to attract the youth in the prospects of starting a career in farming, but not just as a farmer, but an agri-entrepreneur.

Let’s all pray that all goes well.

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