The children of agrarian reform beneficiaries in Manapla, Negros Occidental are now being trained on the basics of organic farming and they get to earn from it through harvesting their planted crops.
Executive assistant to the governor, Manuel Escalante, said yesterday that the local government of Manapla is currently funding a program where the youth, aged 7 to 18 years old, are trained to become future farmers for the next generation.
Escalante said this farm development program for the youth aims to train them to become farmers, as it is seen as a degrading profession and training them young is a key for them to be “hi-tech” farmers in the future.
About 15 kids of the Myrianne Farmers Development Association in Brgy. San Pablo started their training in December last year and they are tasked to cultivate a 500 sq. meter land and initially planted it with tomatoes with the help of an agriculture technician from the municipality.
Every Sunday, they attend classes on farming and before going to school, they need to drop by the garden first to check on the status of their plant and do some farming activities assigned to them, Escalante said.
He also said that recently, they harvested 72 kilos of tomatoes from their cultivated garden and the income will go to them.
The project is also fully-funded by the local government of Manapla, he said, with municipal agriculturist Alejandro Malijoc, High-Value Commercial Crops coordinator Joseph Lobado, and Organic focal person Johnic Dela Cruz leading the initiative.
More crops will be planted by the kids and some might be displayed in this year’s Panaad sa Negros Festival next month, he added.*MLG
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