"When I became the agri secretary in 2010, the average farmer age is 57 years old. But with the various interventions provided by the government—more specifically farm mechanization—there are more young farmers now,” Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said.
The agri chief who led two farmers’ forum in CARAGA region on February 19, 2016 added, “The youth are encouraged to venture into farming with the realization that it’s now fun to farm.”
During the event, Alcala, turned-over agri-implements amounting to P144 million (M) to the provinces of Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Norte.
In both occasions, the Agri chief turned over a mini 4WD tractor, rice reaper, floating tillers, pump and engine sets, hand tractors, and composting facilities to more than 10 farmers and irrigators' associations.
Alcala also turned over certificates of funds for the construction of farm-to-market roads in Kitcharao, Tubay and RTR, in Agusan del Norte.
“We will continue to deliver to you high-impact projects, that will benefit you for a long time,” he continued stressing that the present administration will continue to establish projects that would provide maximum benefits to the Filipino farmers.
Apart from these, the Philippine Rural Development Project also issued a No Objection Letter (NOL) or notice to proceed for the FMR projects located at Nasipit and Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte, Sison, and Malimono, Surigao del Norte during the event.
In his message, Alcala urged the youth to take agri-related courses in line with the government’s efforts to produce new breed of farmers.
“And so I request the regional office to evaluate and screen students who are interested to take agri courses,” he said adding that the DA will provide scholarship grants.
“We will be more than happy to shoulder not only the tuition fees of these deserving students but also their other school expenses,” he said. # Source - Carlos Baldosa/DA-AFID/www.da.gov.ph