QUEZON CITY -- Some 23 young farm leaders went to Japan for an 11-month internship program to learn about advanced Japanese modern agricultural technologies that they can apply upon their return to the Philippines.
Dubbed as the Young Filipino Farmer Leaders Training Program in Japan (YFFLTPJ), the internship program is a collaboration between the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Japan Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and the Japan Agricultural Exchange Council (JAEC).
YFFLTPJ aims to provide opportunities for deserving young Filipino farmers nationwide to gain knowledge and skills on the advanced Japanese modern agricultural technologies, and to become empowered farmer leaders and agricultural entrepreneurs who can help achieve food security and economic stability in the agriculture sector.
For this year’s batch, a total of 23 young farmers have been selected from the different regions in the country to undergo a series of hands-on training composed of various courses such as: rice production and farm mechanization training, dairy/beef cattle production and management, vegetable/crop production, and swine production and management. The hands-on activities were conducted through the ATI Regional Training Centers’ collaboration with its certified Learning Site for Agriculture (LSA) and accredited Extension Service Provider (ESP).
To prepare for the actual training in Japan, the trainees underwent a Pre-departure Orientation Course (PDOC) where they took Agricultural Credit Policy Council’s Financial Literacy course and Japanese Language, Culture and Traditions Class, which was facilitated by the Sai Jou International Training Center.
Likewise, Dr. Emerson Galang Aliswag discussed the topic on Mental Health Resiliency for the trainees. Dr. Aliswag provided activities and interventions to the trainee’s mental and emotional strength and resilience that they need to withstand the challenges of living in a new environment and culture in Japan.
As a culmination activity of the PDOC, a send-off ceremony was held last April 11, 2023 at the ATI-Central Office to recognize the trainees for completing the various phases of the program. This activity also acknowledged the contribution of the different partners in the implementation of the program such as the JAEC, ATI Regional Training Centers, provincial and municipal local government units and more importantly, the parents of the young farmers.
Through a video message, DA’s Senior Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban extended his support to the trainees in transforming them into farm leaders and agricultural entrepreneurs through continued capability building. He also wished the trainees’ success in their learning journey and challenged them to return to the Philippines after their 11-month internship in Japan with valuable knowledge, and skills that will benefit the agriculture sector and create more opportunities for the stakeholders in the face of today’s modernization and digitalization agenda.
The trainees flew to Japan last April 13, 2023 and they are expected to return on February 22, 2024 for their post-training evaluation and reentry planning.