Sunday, March 3, 2019

Farm Life: Young Farmer's Dream


The Phillipines 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 subsector  is dying in the Philippines when it was reported recently that the sector has a very little statistical contribution in our country's economy in 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 the reason why our younger generations do not see the future in farming and they do not accept the challenge to enherit 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 as compared to working as a corporate employee in a big company. 

I may belong in a Healthcare sector as my primary profession, but I have an interest in agriculture and looking forward to embracing a farm life. Back in 2008 just after my graduation in 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 sense of joy to see them receiving their hard earned money out of their produce. I reminisce 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, I know that our local rice farmers had a big contribution in my college education and also the money they received out of their produce is to finance the education of their own children. 

The search for young farmers

It was just recently in February when I heard the news from my Father that there is a decline in the number of students who have shown interest to pursue Agricultural course in the newly established College of Agriculture (CAPSU) in our town. 

My father, who is himself a farmer and the Committee Chairman on Agriculture in the Sangguniang Bayan is concerned of the possible closure of the college of Agriculture if there will be a very low number of enrollees for the school year 2019-2020. He has to do something together with our local officials and colleagues in public service to promote and revive the interest of the students in taking agricultural studies. They may be a son or daughter of a farmer of a less privileged family, but has the courage and the passion in Agriculture and strongly believe that there is a better future in Agriculture sector.

The future in Agriculture 

Nowadays, we see agricultural farms converted into shopping malls and subdivisions or townhouses which was acquired from our farmers. If this is now our present reality we have to 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 devopment, but we can do something if we learn to cultivate love in the soil that will give us a better future. 

Agripreneurship or Agribiz is now the trend in the hope to revive 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 former corporate employee who turned into farming and earned a better income. We also have people in the city who are now into urban farming despite of limited lot area and it is their source of organic food in the table. 



Farm tourism is the next Big thing

As we grow our love and passion in Agriculture, we also get to share it with people through farm tourism which is a great 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 our town and the province by attracting tourist to visit and patronize farm produce.

Support to 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 give students an opportunity to acquire quality education and become the next Agriculturist and Agripreneur who will bring quality and healthy food on our table. Let us continue to hear The Voice of The Filipino Farmers so that they will be more empowered.

Farming lifestyle may be challenging but it is gaining attention to the young ones and many people in rural and urban areas are still attracted to it. It's not hard to believe that the future is in Agriculture and there is future in Agriculture; and that future starts today.

© 2019 Del Cusay



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