THE Provincial Government of Pampanga and Third District Representative Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales deserve acknowledgement for allocating P22 million for the rehabilitation and recovery program of 10,375 farmers who were affected by the typhoon and southwest monsoon last 2018.
This concrete effort, along with other initiatives such as providing support, machineries, equipment, and development for Kapampangan farmers, are indeed necessary to help sustain the industry of local farming in the province and in the region as well. At the same time, the strong pledge of local officials also ensure the stable livelihood of our local farmers.
While the apparent problem that confronts farmers include disasters and climate change, the continuous decline of young persons who are interested in agriculture is becoming more and more eminent. It is clear that while our government addresses these problems on rice production, the next important step to take is to guarantee that there will be a younger group of people who will continue the noble profession of farming.
Agriculture is one of the learning areas under the Technical-Vocational Livelihood [TVL) Track that covers specializations such as Agricultural Crop Production and Organic Agriculture. These are highly responsive to the increasing demand of industries for agriculture workers, aiming to breed a new blood of young farmers to replace the aging population of agriculture workers and will soon take part in the economic growth and development of the country.
As sustainable rice production remains one of the critical activities that the government is now focusing on, DepEd seeks to actively engage the agriculture teachers in developing among the young farmers with relevant skills and competencies and technology on rice farming. Further, given the right technology on rice farming, teachers shall be able to bring back the interest and love for agriculture among our students.
Last November 2018, DepEd and the PhilRice Institute conducted a training where a total of 90 DepEd Agriculture teachers were trained at the PhilRice Central Experiment Station. The five-day activity aimed to train the agriculture teachers on rice morphology and growth stages; farm machinery operations; palay check system; nutrient, pest, water and harvest management; including hands-on practicum.
In recent years, a number of agriculture teachers have been the recipients of the training programs on Infomediary and Climate Smart Agriculture. These forms of interventions contributed to better teaching farming practices that led to sustainable agriculture.