A member of the House of Representatives has said the growing need for agricultural scientists and engineers calls for the quick passage of a bill that will attract more students to go into agriculture-related careers.
Rep. Sharon Garin of AAMBIS-OWA Party-list group said the Philippines was not entering what she said was the “fourth agricultural revolution” that marks the introduction of scientific developments in agricultural production.
“Efforts to bring new breeding techniques, sustainable farming designs, and climate-smart crop varieties to small farmers are ongoing nationwide,” Garin said.
House Bill 3596, also known as the Young Farmers Program Act, which seeks to attract incoming college students to choose and complete a field in agriculture and fisheries should be passed soonest because of these developments, Garin said.
“Agricultural scientists and engineers have the potential to develop sustainable and innovative farming techniques that can increase the yield and income of Filipino farmers and improve the productivity of the agriculture sector in general. Thus, we must dispel the notion among our young people that farming is tedious, unsustainable, and unglamorous.”
With the measure, Garin also hopes to create an environment conducive to innovative activity. Innovation, according to the World Economic Forum, is one of the 12 pillars of the Global Competitiveness Index.
The bill provides for establishment of the National Agriculture and Fisheries Education System, an integrated system of agriculture and fishery education covering both public and private institutions in all levels.
The Young Farmers Committee, to be headed by the chairman of the Commission on Higher Education, with the representative of NAFES as vice chairman, shall oversee the implementation and the creation of the rules and regulations of the law.
A technical working group for House Bill 3596 was formed on Nov. 19, 2019. The discussion on the unnumbered substitute bill shall resume upon the resumption of session on Jan. 20.
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