Sunday, March 3, 2019

Farm Life: Young Farmer's Dream

The Philippines is now taking the challenge on how it could revive the glorious days when it was once an Asian leader in Agriculture back in the 60s, which was our parents' or grandparents' generation.

It's hard to believe that the rice industry, which is one of the Agricultural subsectors, is dying in the Philippines when it was reported recently that the sector has very little statistical contribution to our country's economy in the 2018 report. This revelation seems an admission of failure not only to improve our Agricultural sector but also a failure to uplift the lives of our farmers. This could be why our younger generations do not see the future in farming and do not accept the challenge of inheriting this noble profession from their parents. 

Reviving interest in Agriculture

The reality is that farming takes a lot of effort, time, and patience, and these could be the reasons why our youth would choose to take non-agricultural studies to be their profession. Another reason could be the misconception that there are no better opportunities in agriculture and it is not highly profitable compared to working as a corporate employee in a big company.

I may belong to the Healthcare sector as my primary profession, but I am interested in agriculture and looking forward to embracing a farm life. Back in 2008, just after I graduated from college, I was able to help my parents in their business of buying rice grains (unmilled) from our local rice farmers. I was a cashier back then, and it gave me a sense of joy to see them receiving their hard-earned money from their produce. I reminisce about the time when I was just a young kid playing in a rice field during the harvest season, and as I grew up, I have learned to appreciate and express my gratitude to our farmers. In my heart, our local rice farmers had a significant contribution to my college education, and also the money they received out of their products is to finance the education of their own children. 

The future of Agriculture 

Nowadays, we see agricultural farms converted into shopping malls and subdivisions or townhouses, which were acquired from our farmers. If this is our present reality, we must be alarmed as we will soon be losing the farmland that gives us food to eat and finance our children's education. We can never control the future and its fast development, but we can do something if we learn to cultivate love in the soil that will reap greater rewards. 

Agripreneurship or Agribiz is now the trend in the hope of reviving our love for Agriculture. We have heard some stories of former OFWs who started farming in their province and became wealthy. We have heard about a former corporate employee who became farming and earned a better income. We also have people in the city who are now into urban farming despite the limited lot area, and it is their source of organic food on the table. 

Farm tourism is the Next Big thing.

As we grow our love and passion for Agriculture, we also get to share it with people through farm tourism, which is a tremendous societal contribution. If there is a strawberry farm in La Trinidad, a grape farm in La Union, and Garin Farm in Iloilo, then the newest farm destination could be owned by you, and you can help promote your town and the province by attracting tourists to visit and patronize the farm produce and various farm activities. 

Support our young farmers

Let us continue to support our Agricultural sector so that our younger generation will appreciate what their parents have started. Let us help revive our school of Agriculture to allow students to acquire quality education and become the next Agriculturist and Agripreneur who will bring quality and healthy food to our table. Let us continue to hear The Voices of The Filipino Farmers so that they will be more empowered.

The farming lifestyle may be challenging, but it is gaining attention from the young ones, and many people in rural and urban areas are still attracted to it. It's easy to believe that the future is in Agriculture, and there is a future in Agriculture, and that future starts today.

© 2019 Del Cusay