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ATI-10 promotes youth programs to combat aging farmer population

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA) -- Responding to the growing concern of an aging farmer population, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI)-10 is offering training programs to entice the youth to consider farming or agribusiness as a career option.

"In 2023, we had around 2,500 training activities nationwide and approximately 60,000 individuals trained, including farmer-leaders, extension workers, youth, and other extension intermediaries," said ATI National Director Remelyn Recoter.

She added that ATI - the extension and training arm of the Department of Agriculture – recognizes the urgent need to attract young people to get into agriculture, given the challenges posed by an aging farming population. Through innovative youth empowerment programs, such as youth internship and scholarship programs, the institute aims to inspire a new generation of farmers, agripreneurs, and agricultural professionals. 

The establishment of a scholarship program is tailored to encourage young Filipinos to pursue careers in agriculture. The programs, which are currently benefiting dozens of students across the region, aim to break down financial barriers and provide a pathway for youth to engage with the agricultural sector.

Internship programs, both local and international, offer hands-on experience to students interested in farming and agribusiness. These initiatives not only expose them to the practical aspects of agriculture but also connect them with seasoned professionals, fostering mentorship opportunities.

"We were able to conduct 137 trainings across the region. We have almost 12,000 every month that we conduct and 51 other agri-related fishery activities. We were able to feature 9,300 plus participants, of whom 14 percent are agricultural extension workers and then 8,000 farmers, fishers, students, youth, and other enthusiasts and agri-enthusiasts. For the scholarship program, we're able to implement three batches already of scholarship programs for the children of small-to-home farmers," said ATI-10 Center Director Ma. Lydia Echavez during the ATI 37th founding anniversary celebration in the region on February 6. 

Recognizing young agripreneurs

In recognition of the contributions of young agripreneurs, ATI celebrates success stories through publications like the recently unveiled Bahandi BAE Book 2. These collections of inspiring stories serve as a testament to the potential and resilience of the youth in agriculture, motivating others to follow suit.

"We want to showcase and highlight the success of our farmers, young farmers, and the next generation of farmers, as well as present their failures as is, and at the same time, leave our readers with profound life lessons and truth," said ATI-10 Media Production Specialist Vic Thor Palarca.

He added that Bahandi Bae Book 2 is a logical move to come up with more collections of inspiring stories of young farmers in the region.  Thus, they hope for a better future where more young farmers will take on the challenge and offer long-term solutions to make the country food-secure.

Echavez stressed that the programs of ATI  are designed to close the gap that exists between the younger and elder farming generations. The institute establishes a supportive environment where the youthful energy and new perspectives of the younger generation are combined with the wisdom of seasoned farmers through cooperation and knowledge exchange.

ATI is certain that the youth initiatives will significantly alter the way that the difficulties presented by an aging farmer population are addressed when they pick up steam. The institute encourages communities, stakeholders, and young people to play an active role in creating a profitable and sustainable agricultural future in Region 10. (RTP/PIA-10)

The Agricultural Training Institute in northern Mindanao unveiled its Bahandi BAE cover, a publication of a collection of exceptional stories of farmers and their inside partners alike, on February 6, 2024, as part of its 37th anniversary. Bahandi Bae Book 2 is a logical move to come up with more collections of inspiring stories of young farmers in Region 10. (Photo: DCC/PIA-10)

About the Author

Recthie Paculba

Regional Editor

Region 10

Camiguin Information Center Manager 

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