DILIMAN, Quezon City—To help modernize the agriculture and fisheries sector, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) will focus on empowering more young farmers and enthusiasts this year through internship opportunities and credit support for agribusiness ventures.
ATI OIC-Director Remelyn Recoter shared this in a radio interview on "Agri Asenso" as she talked about efforts to further help the youth as one of the focus areas of the agency in 2023.
"We want to entice our youth to engage in agriculture because one of the challenges of our sector is the aging population. The average age of our farmers is between 53 to 57. In five or 10 years, we will have aging farmers and fishers," Recoter said.
At present, the ATI has existing agreements with the governments of Japan and Taiwan for internship programs for young Filipino farmers. Aside from this, the agency is looking into possible partnerships with the South Korean and Israeli governments for new youth internship programs.
Digital agriculture will also be promoted and will be part of the ATI's regular training programs to show the youth more opportunities in farming and fishing.
Meanwhile, training programs on the different segments of the agri-fishery value chain from production up to consumption will be made available to extension workers and farmer-leaders. These include training on mechanization, processing, good manufacturing practices, food safety, and marketing.
"We will continue to support the Department of Agriculture in its efforts to ensure that there is food on the table for every Filipino," she said.
Scholarship programs are also ongoing for extension workers in the local government units (LGUs) and other institutions to professionalize their industry and for them to become more empowered to serve their fellow farmers and fishers.
Meanwhile, to ensure that farmers have access to facilities that will help them learn more agri-fishery technologies, the ATI will strengthen the linkage between LGUs and its Learning Sites for Agriculture and Extension Service Providers. Through this, training participants in the local areas will be able to use technology demonstration sites and nurseries that might not be available in their LGU.
Training and other capacity-building activities that will help address the challenges brought by the rising costs of inputs, outbreak of African Swine Fever and Avian influenza, and climate change will also be intensified this year.
Visit https://fb.watch/hTBLFJC5Ty/ for more of Recoter’s interview on “Agri Asenso” last December 31, 2022.