PILI, Camarines Sur — The Department of Agriculture (DA) regional office in Bicol revealed that one of the challenges being faced by the region’s agricultural sector is the lack of interest of the youth and the population of farmers engaged in the industry now considered in the older bracket.
For this the regional executive Director Abelardo Bragas on Thursday said, the farmers and fisherfolk remained Bicolandia’s poorest sectors, even with the many government agricultural interventions designed to uplift their living conditions.
He said the average age of farmers nowadays was 56 and most of them were between 41 and 65, classified as “second generation” and yet, the region had many full-time farmhands at age 66 and above who were with the first living generation.
Abelardo pointed out that what the region needs are more farm people within the 20 to 40 age bracket, whom we consider as new generation farmers who are aggressive, innovative and receptive of new farming ideas and techniques toward greater productivity.
To alter the course, the agency has placed programs that would contribute to the achievement of alleviating poverty, promote sustainable economic growth by raising the interest of the youth in farming in Bicol.
The DA has entered into partnership with state colleges and universities (SUCs) towards accelerating agricultural development and encourage students to become efficient agriculturists and agri-entrepreneurs. (from PNA report)