September 21, 2022

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is encouraging more Filipino youth to be engaged in the agriculture sector, particularly in availing of its agriculture-related training courses, especially on modern rice farming.

TESDA Deputy Director General Aniceto D. Bertiz III said that young people in the urban and rural areas should take the rice farming courses as well, as he noted that TESDA has produced more trainees from its agriculture-related skills training courses.

“Hindi na ito yung mga tinatawag nating ordinaryong farmers but nae-engage na rin natin yung mga kabataan kasi we are giving them different scholarship programs,” he said.

The agriculture sector is one of the priority sectors of TESDA as identified in the National Technical Education and Skills Development Plan (NTESDP) 2018-2022.

According to Bertiz, TESDA has been providing scholarship programs on rice farming under the Program on Accelerating Farm School Establishment (PAFSE) and Rice Extension Services Program (RESP).

The PAFSE is being implemented as part of TESDA’s enterprise-based training or “EBT to the Max” initiative to promote the proliferation of farm schools, and the use of a “farmer to farmer, learning by doing” methodology.

The RESP, on the other hand, is being implemented under the Republic Act 11203, or the Rice Liberalization Act, signed in 2019.

Under the RESP, TESDA offers courses, such as Farm Field School on Production of High-Quality Inbred Rice and Seed Certification and Farm Mechanization, Rice Machinery Operations, Drying and Milling Plant Servicing NC III, Agro-entrepreneurship NC II, Pest and Nutrients Management, and Digital Agriculture Course in the Farm Field School (FFS) nationwide.

Bertiz, a known OFW rights advocate, also shared that the TESDA has an ongoing partnership with Israel’s Agro-Studies to provide trainers and professors in the agriculture sector to pursue advanced studies on modernized farming.

He added that TESDA continues to improve and expand its services particularly in the agriculture sector to help the country achieve food self-sufficiency.

“We are developing more training courses for agriculture including the post-harvest training programs for them to market their products,” Bertiz said. (30)

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