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Filipino graduates to get free education in farming
Authored by Partylist Rep. Delphine Gan Lee, House Bill 3789 intends to equip the youth with the necessary technical and entrepreneurial skills to help them contribute to food security and generate employment in the rural areas.
"In strengthening youth farming sector, the young agriculture and fisheries graduates shall be encouraged to engage in agribusiness and support them to become entrepreneurs," Lee said.
The bill will cover all graduates of agriculture, fisheries, or agribusiness course and presently unemployed or a college graduate of any course but presently engaged in agriculture or fisheries, or agribusiness course.
"In enlisting young and competent entrepreneurs, the measure shall improve the competitiveness of the agricultural and fisheries sectors; demonstrating the high income potential in agribusiness thru value-adding activities, and emphasizing to the youth their indispensable role in nation-building and economic development," Lee said.
She said an average Filipino farmer, who is older than all of his Asian counterparts, is less receptive to modern technologies due to its high cost and the lack of technical know-how to operate them.
"If we are to be competitive in the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, the government should inculcate in the Filipino youth the dedication and commitment to be effective partners for the continued improvement of our agricultural and fisheries sector through entrepreneurship and agribusiness," Lee said.
She also stressed the migration of young farmers to urban centers or abroad will bring to a halt by generating better employment opportunities in the countryside.
Those who will be included in the Youth Farmer Entrepreneur (YFE) shall undergo training to be conducted by the Department of Agriculture (DA), in coordination with State Colleges and Universities (SCU).
Under the bill, an executive committee to be composed of five members shall be created to implement the program.
The executive committee shall oversee and monitor the implementation of the program and shall promulgate the rules and regulations and adopt rules of procedures to effectively carry out the provisions of the proposed act.
Likewise, the Local Government Units (LGUs) are mandated to support the program through additional counterpart funding assistance, production, processing and technical and marketing support.