THE Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) Davao supports establishment of farm schools as it would be a good agricultural training ground for those who wish to venture further into farming.

While agriculture demands more workers than other sectors but the institutions offering agriculture-related programs are limited, Tesda Davao Regional director Gaspar Gayona said their office is supportive of the promotion of farm schools.

“We are helping the government in promoting this use of farm schools. There are two methodologies: we have training centers that are really farm schools, while we also have an approach wherein existing farms will be made into agricultural laboratories. The farmers will be taught to facilitate especially in organic agriculture,” said Gayona who was a guest during the Kapehan sa Dabaw weekly press conference at SM City Dabaw last Monday, November 6.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) Davao had already established a satellite office in Tesda Davao – Korea Philippines Vocational Training Center in Tibungco. Currently the office partners with Tesda for trainings of post-harvest facility maintenance as well as the establishment of the Agricultural Training Institute.

“If we can’t bring the farmers to schools, then let’s make their farms into schools…We train trainers, we bring them to the communities. We train the farmers in the communities to become trainers,” said Gayona.

He added what they teach the farmers is organic farming, which does not necessarily have a strict curriculum but instead a Tesda facilitates the learning.

As the farm school program was just launched, Gayona said they currently have 25 scholars in an ongoing program in Panabo City which started about three weeks ago. He added for years now, Tesda Davao had also been partnering with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Aces Nature Farm in Panabo City and had produced about 1,500 organic farmer-graduates most of which are youth.