The Department of Agriculture (DA) said it’s only a matter of time before the majority of the country’s farmers bid farewell to farming due to old age, and that the agriculture sector will soon be taken over by millennials.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said since the average age of the farmers in the Philippines ranges from 57 to 60 years old, there’s now a need to prepare millennials to take over the country’s agriculture sector.
“It will be only a matter of time before they [the existing farmers] retire, and thereafter we see a decline in the 10-million farmer-workforce that feeds our countrymen,” Dar said.
“Hence, engaging the youth is imperative to sustain our progress towards a fully food-secure nation,” he added.
To lure the younger generation, the DA is embarking on a technological transformation program aiming at “Agriculture 4.0” that would digitalize the country’s agriculture and fishery sector.
“Agriculture 4.0” aims to embrace opportunities of the fourth industrial revolution that employs modern technologies like hydroponics, genetic modification, blockchain, drones, powerful data analytics, and nanotechnology to increase and sustain food productivity, quality, and income of food producers
“We believe that the best way to keep the wheels of innovation moving is by influencing the younger generation to take interest in the vast and fascinating world of science,” the DA chief said.
“Born at a time when technological sophistication defines competition, the Filipino youth definitely has so much to offer in our Agriculture 4.0 agenda,” he added.