February 12, 2024

In line with the administration’s ongoing thrust for a thriving agriculture sector, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority’s (TESDA) has provided training to more than 56,000 rice farmers and their dependents in 2023.

TESDA Secretary Suharto T. Mangudadatu said that a total of 56,654 rice farmers and their family members completed various agriculture and agriculture-related courses offered by the agency under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund – Rice Extension Services Program (RCEF-RESP) scholarship program.

Region III produced the greatest number with 6,973 graduates in 2023. Followed by Region X and Region II with 5, 247 and 4,810 graduates, respectively.

“In the past years, we have prioritized the agriculture sector in the provision of our training programs as we believe that this can ultimately contribute to our country achieving food security and self-sufficiency,” Secretary Mangudadatu said.

“The impact of this achievement extends far beyond the numbers. It signifies a positive shift towards a more sustainable and efficient agricultural sector. By investing in the skills and education of our farmers, we are laying the foundation for a better future for our nation,” he added.

Additionally, Secretary Mangudadatu is encouraging the Filipino citizens to enroll in various courses offered by TESDA under RCEF-RESP.

“I encourage our kababayans to enroll in these agri-related courses to further enhance their crop production as well as their skills. With guidance and instruction with the proper techniques, we ensure better health of our crops and an increase in yield,” the TESDA Chief added.

TESDA trains rice farmers as part of its implementation of Republic Act 11203, or the Rice Liberalization Act. The implementing guidelines were issued in September 2019 on RCEF-RESP activities to be carried out by the Agency through its regional and provincial offices.

The RCEF-RESP initiative has played a pivotal role in equipping the Filipino farmers with essential skills, ranging from modern farming techniques to agribusiness management.

The TESDA courses under RCEF-RESP include 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, among others.

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