Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Group pushes capacity building for young farmers

KABATAANG Magsasaka pushes for better agricultural capacity building for young farmers in the form of trainings and crop production area establishment even in the barangay levels.

Christopher Adromeo, chairman of Kabataang Magsasaka for Davao Region, said there are about 87,000 numbers of farm-active young farmers in the country.

Although they have yet to have the final number for the region, Adromeo said there are a lot of young farmers in Davao Region.

Their members are composed of professionals, agriculture-related graduates, Japan-trained farmers through a grant by the Department of Agriculture (DA), and a number of out-of-school youth.

Team Humanity executive director Richard Año said their programs are being imposed and conducted in partnership with the respective local government units (LGU) of the areas covered.

“Our component programs include strengthening of social preparation and capacity building among the youth especially the farmers. We will also establish high-value crop production area for each region to the barangay level. This is commodity-based. As for Davao Region, we will have abaca, cacao, bananas, and cassava. In line with that, we will also establish different nurseries for these said commodities,” Año said.

Aside from that, their group also looks forward to construction of water system especially in the countryside and in different barangays with the LGUs. They are also in support of construction of renewable energy facilities such as hydro and solar energy sources. This, he said, would then be coupled with relevant skills and training.

Kabataang Magsasaka also hopes for future public-private partnerships to help infuse more invested capital for young farmers especially in the barangay level.

Farming against lawless group recruitment

Adromeo said most of the young recruits of lawless groups are from the countryside or in the agricultural areas of the city. In recruiting them to go into farming, the group also helps to lessen the number of youth to be part of conflicts with the government and other groups.

“Instead of holding arms, we teach them to hold agricultural tools instead. We teach them how to develop the land so that they wouldn’t be recruited by lawless groups,” said Adromeo.

He added the youth is “next in line”, which is enough reason for the older generation to equip the youth with the agricultural concept and self-sufficiency in line with their target of having enough food supply for everyone by 2040.

When asked if the younger generations’ fondness of modern technology and social media is not a hindrance to their passion for agriculture, Adromeo said it actually complements as long as properly managed.

“Through social media and the internet, they are able to learn about modern technology such as biodynamics. Also, information dissemination is a lot easier,” he said.
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