SENATOR Cynthia Villar on Friday sought to attract Filipino youth and share their fresh ideas to agriculture through education and focused training.
Villar, who had the chance to talk to young students, said she found out that most of the Filipino youth still have interest in agriculture, contrary to belief that there is dwindling interest in the sector among them.
“We have to keep that interest going. We have to keep their desire to get involved in agriculture alive,” Villar, chairperson of Senate agriculture and food committee, said.
The senator noted that Filipino farmers are getting old, with the average age of 50 and above, the reason why the country should have younger farmers.
While the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority has allotted P500 million for agricultural training of 45,000 scholars, Villar said access to agricultural training opportunities for the youth should be more promoted through the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund.
Villar stressed the need for more schools or educational institutions to include agriculture-related modules in their course offerings.
She said that through the courses, farmers and their children or family members will learn basic know-how like operation and maintenance of modern machinery, farm management, financial literacy, accounting, and entrepreneurship, among others.
“I believe that technological innovation and entrepreneurial mind set will not only propel the agriculture sector to greater heights. It can also attract the younger generation to agriculture. The youth, as well as the existing farmers, can be agri-entrepreneurs, too,” Villar said. (Sunnex)