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Thursday, May 30, 2024

DA plans to enhance promotion to attract younger farmers, fishers

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The Department of Agriculture (DA) is revamping its image to attract the younger generation to engage in farming, fishing and aquaculture. 

“Farming now is not bankable. So, the aim is to make it cool, attractive to young people and, of course, bankable. It should make money in order for it to be sustainable,” Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. told members of the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham) in a recent forum.

The aging agricultural workforce raises concerns on how they remained poor despite hard work, forcing them to dissuade their children from going into farming and fishing.

Tiu Laurel said farmers deserve to profit from their hard work.

The DA recognized that profitability is key to attracting young people and investors. A stronger agricultural sector would not only create jobs but also boost the Philippines economy, which currently relies on agriculture for one in four jobs but only eight percent of total output.

The recently-crafted four-year agriculture plan, presented to a separate forum with the Federation of Free Farmers (FFF), aims to empower the farming and fisheries sectors as “profitable industries.”

The department’s plan for modernization includes investments in mechanization, improved post-harvest systems, wider irrigation and better resource allocation.

An efficient logistics network is also crucial to ensure affordable food reaches consumers, it said.

“The Department of Agriculture continues to redouble its efforts in increasing the Philippines’ agricultural production. While instilling a vision aimed at modernizing the sector, we at the Department are also working hard on the price of agricultural commodities so that it will become affordable for stakeholders across the agricultural value chain,” the DA secretary said.

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