Youth's 'crazy ideas' to help solve hunger, Agri chief says

Published September 1, 2021, 11:49 AM

by Betheena Unite

Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar said that the young generation’s involvement in agriculture programs is critical in attaining a food-secure nation with less hungry people and families.

(Photo courtesy of the Department of Agriculture)

“The youth has the advantage of guts and idealism. You don’t censor seemingly crazy ideas with the cynicism experience has taught some baby boomers,” Dar said during a virtual forum organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Aug. 31.

“For many years now, the barriers to agricultural progress have been low productivity and dire lack of value-adding rural enterprises. These two obstacles have resulted in the erratic growth of the sector over the past 10 years,” he further said.

The Agriculture chief noted that the youth engagement in agriculture is one of the key strategies implemented under the OneDA Reform Agenda, which was designed to transform Philippine agriculture into a dynamic, high-growth sector that promotes investments and inclusive growth.

“We recognize that young Filipinos have most to gain from our future-oriented development agenda. That is why we have invested in key programs to attract the skills, talents, and vigor of the Filipino youth into agriculture and agribusiness,” Dar said.

Technical, livelihood, marketing, and financial support are extended by the department to offer more opportunities and improve the younger generation’s access to farming.

“The upcoming generation of farmers has the opportunity to be the generation that will end world hunger and alleviate malnutrition, as well as help the sector adapt to climate change,” Dar added.

A survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations on June 23 to 26, 2021 showed that 13.6 percent or an estimated 3.4 million families experienced involuntary hunger due to lack of food to eat at least once in the past three months.