WHO says farmers are aging? In Negros Occidental, the children are actively engaged in farming, molding themselves as future leaders of the province’s agriculture sector.

In the province’s Manapla town, members of the Myrianne Youth Farmers Organization (MYFO) are currently growing vegetables and other high-value crops in a 600-square meter farm at Hacienda Myrianne in Barangay San Pablo.

The farm is being poised to become one of the agri-tourism destinations in the northern Negros Occidental locality.

Jison dela Cruz, chairman of MYFO, said the organization has given them, children of Hacienda Myrianne, the opportunity to make use of their time in a valuable activity like farming.

Dela Cruz said farming has allowed them to gain knowledge and skills on agriculture, instead of engaging in vices.

“Through this organization, we were able to also realize that we can help and serve the community even at an early age,” he added.

The group was organized in 2018. Its farm is one of the “Abanse Negrense Farm Youth Vegetable Gardens and High-Value Crops Farm Areas” in the province.

In December 2020, it won second place in innovative technology during the Search for the Most Outstanding Young Farmer Organization (4H Club) of Negros Occidental.

The youth-led farm is also a recipient of the provincial government’s Solar Irrigation Project.

The project worth P6.9 million is funded by the province through the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA).

The construction of the project started in September last year, and is now 90 percent complete and scheduled for inauguration next month.

It has an estimated serviceable area of 30 to 50 hectares.

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, who visited the farm on Thursday, said he is happy to see children who are very much interested and engaged in agriculture.

Lacson assured them of more agricultural support and projects from the provincial government.

“Take good care of the farm, and the profit as well. Make sure that all members of the organization know where the revenue goes,” he told the youth-members, adding that “it is good that at an early age, they already know farm operation concepts like dividend sharing, among others.”

The governor was joined by Manapla Mayor Manuel Escalante III, San Pablo Barangay Captain Josefa Cabayao, Municipal Agriculturist Alejandro Malijoc.

Meanwhile, Lacson also visited the Beewell Organic Farmstead at Barangay Mailum in Bago City Friday, March 19, 2021.

This is also part of his administration’s "Abanse Negrense Farm Youth Vegetable Gardens and High-Value Crops Farm Areas” forming part of its thrust to develop the province’s agriculture sector.

Home to the Mailum Organic Village Association, the Beewell Organic Farmstead is a Department of Tourism (DOT)-accredited agritourism and farm site.

The City Tourism Office, in a Facebook post, said both farm and association have been the recipients of various programs of the provincial government, Department of Agriculture, DOT, and city government.

The farm, owned Gina Banowski, has been producing organic and high-value crops, it added.