There is a declining interest in agriculture among Filipino youth, according to an official of the Department of Agriculture.
In a statement released Saturday, the House committee on constitutional amendments invited the DA to present threats to the country’s agricultural sector amid the government's bid to change into a federal system.
“The average age of our farmers as of date is 57 years old. And our youth are no longer interested in agriculture except the ‘Farmville’ on the Internet,” agriculture undersecretary Ranibai Dilangalen said.
Dilangalen said the agency has to adopt strategies to address the issue such as granting scholarships to students pursuing agriculture courses.
“We also provide scholarships and encourage graduates of agriculture to work with us or provide them with financial assistance to start their own business venture if they cannot be absorbed by the agency,” she said.
The committee vice-chairman, SAGIP Party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta, said incentives will entice the youth to engage in farming.
Marcoleta pointed out that Filipino farmers "earn a meager income" and are "saddled with huge debts," compared with farmers in South Korea and Japan who "fare so much better."