167 Young Farmers Join the 9th Asia Pacific IFYE Summer Camp

Tue, 04/23/2024 - 16:37

IFYE 2024 delegates.jpeg

AKLAN, Philippines --- About 167 foreign delegates including those from the Philippines gathered recently to participate in the 9th Asia Pacific International Farm Youth Exchange (IFYE) and Summer Camp held in Boracay Island.

The IFYE Summer Camp is held in quadrennial to revitalize the global cooperation and shared passion for agriculture of youth leaders and young farmers across the globe through impactful cultural exchange, sharing of agricultural best practices, and the forging of lifelong camaraderie.

Despite geographical distances, cultural nuances, and language barriers among the youth participants, the event served as a platform geared towards dismantling barriers, cultivating leadership potential, promoting cultural exchange, and strengthening global partnerships and networking.

During the opening program, IFYE Philippines Vice President Rudy N. Mostar presented the delegates with the following breakdown: 49 from Taiwan, 29 from Korea, 82 from the Philippines, six from Thailand, and one from Australia.  

On the other hand, IFYE National President Danilo M. Agliam officially opened the activity and encouraged everyone to cultivate seeds of friendship and explore the power of unity and teamwork. 

With the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) as one of the partner institutions, Director Remelyn R. Recoter rendered her message of support and applauded the IFYE Organization as the youth’s beacon of hope and inspiration, showcasing how unwavering dedication and determination can achieve in uplifting the lives of young farmers.

"I trust that this event will serve as a platform for shaping future youth development plans and programs geared towards fostering peace and solidarity through the spirit of volunteerism," said Recoter.

Other guests who graced the event were 4-H Club of the Philippines President Alexandra Aborita, Volunteer Leaders Association of the Philippines President Dr. Asterio P. Saliot, and Esel Flores, Provincial Government Assistant Department Head for Economic Enterprise Development representing Aklan Governor Jose Enrique Miraflores.

Moreover, the IFYE Summer Camp also provided a platform for sharing knowledge and 4-H works towards shaping future youth development plans and programs related to agriculture. To raise their knowledge and awareness about the timely, innovative, and relevant programs and initiatives of various countries related to the Farm Youth Exchange Program, stemmed and high-caliber speakers from the participating countries presented their respective programs to the young farmers.

Agriculturist Jovanee S. Dela Cuadra from ATI Central Office presented the different youth programs initiated by the Department of Agriculture, especially those that support the platform geared towards shaping the future of young farmers such as the IFYE Program and the 4-H Club of the Philippines. She also discussed the challenges that posed threats to the country’s agriculture sector such as aging farmers, declining enrollment and employment in agriculture, and youth migration, which all hinder the objectives of attaining food security and sovereignty.

Other country reports were presented by Lui Chuin Min, IFYE President of Taiwan ROC; Myungsook Goo, Korea IFYE Association President; Susan Seesang, Thailand IFYE Association President; and Barbara Maidment, IFYE Australia President.

One of the highlights of the IFYE Summer Camp was the Solidarity Cruise, which primarily aimed to contribute to the global mission of elevating the role of agriculture in attaining peace and solidarity by sharing farm experiences and success stories.

The distribution of sports equipment spearheaded by the Korean delegates emphasized volunteerism and giving back to the community, with the students of Balabag Elementary School in Malay, Aklan as recipients. This activity fostered meaningful and unforgettable experiences for both the delegates and the student recipients.

Another significant part of the Summer Camp was the gathering together of IFYE leaders to discuss youth development plans and programs to bring agriculture to new heights. They shared insightful suggestions and recommendations for the improvement of the Asia IFYE Association and discussed incoming significant events such as the 4-H Network Conference which will take place in 2025, World Youth Conference in 2026, and IFYE Summer Camp in 2027.

Other significant activities during the summer camp likewise paved the way to revitalize their commitment to support the IFYE mission of “spearheading international linkages and creating mutual understanding for youth development." These included the exhibit of various IFYE products from participating countries, candle lighting ceremony, cultural presentation and exchange of tokens, and election of the new set of officers for IFYE Philippines.

IFYE Program was founded after World War II as young Americans perceived the need for greater international understanding and cooperation. In 1952, IFYE expanded to Asia, India, and Israel before reaching Japan and the Philippines. A year later, the DA adopted the said program to be able to hold an exchange program bridging the gap between and among other nations and promoting strong linkages and partnerships with other countries. Furthermore, IFYE has been an integral part of the 4-H Club and contributes to the holistic development of young farmers all over the world.

This year’s IFYE and Summer Camp was held last April 15 to 19, with delegates from Australia, Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, and the Philippines.