Monsanto Philippines, together with the University of the Philippines League of Agricultural Biotechnology Students (UP-LABS), recently led a student outreach activity in Muntinlupa City to broaden young people’s awareness on the role of modern agriculture in feeding the country’s growing population.
UP-LABS members performed an on-stage adaptation of the published children’s book Lina’s Town Rises Again, inspired by the tale of triumph of a lady corn farmer in Sultan Kudarat.
Almost 50 grade school students and teachers from the Alabang Elementary School watched the live performance at the Bulwagang Haribon, Insular Life Corporate Centre in Muntinlupa City.
Monsanto Corporate Engagement Lead Charina Garrido-Ocampo shared that the activity was meant to help young students gain a basic understanding of the food value chain, the different challenges to food sufficiency, and the role of modern science in keeping up to the growing demand for food.
She also highlighted the importance of engaging the next generation for the future of agriculture. “Today’s youth plays a critical role in contributing creative ideas and actions to address real-world issues such as food security. Monsanto’s collaboration with UP-LABS demonstrates our efforts to work with different stakeholder, including the young, to promote sustainable agriculture,” Ocampo said.
Meanwhile, UP-LABS President Jakov Abellido hopes that the activity will be able to correct the stereotypes surrounding agriculture as a low-income and “uncool” profession, and in turn, attract them to take agricultural science.
“Currently, the image of agriculture among the younger population remains 'uncool'. Rapid urbanization and rural-urban migration continue to become major factors causing the disinterest in agriculture among young people. Because of this declining interest, reaching out and educating them is a key step in ensuring our youth’s continued involvement in the farming sector,” Abellido said.
Monsanto is committed to expanding the discussion on the importance of sustainable agriculture in schools and colleges across the country. Since 2012, Monsanto has already reached out to more than 10,000 students in Quezon City, Iloilo, Davao, General Santos and Cagayan through their activities geared towards making young minds interested in agriculture.
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