PIGCAWAYAN, North Cotabato - Cultivating younger generations of farmers, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) continues to capacitate the youth in the various facets of agriculture especially in the far-flung areas.
In the recent Graduation Ceremony for the Academic and Technology Integration and Education Program (ATI-EP) Scholars of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), ATI Officer-in-Charge Director Luz Taposok stressed the urgent need to strengthen the involvement of the youth in agriculture because it is central to the fight against poverty and hunger particularly in regions where peace is consistently disturbed.
Taposok explained that there are different circumstances that somehow affect the decisions of the youth to pursue their agricultural interest especially in the remote and conflict-driven areas.
“Not all young bloods in the war zones and poverty-stricken areas have the luxury to dream dreams and have the optimism that their situation will eventually change,” she stated.
Likewise, globalization gives a promise of a glamorous and peaceful urban life that distorts the realistic vision of what national development really means, according to the OIC-Director.
She therefore emphasized that it is high time to instill in the minds of the young people the beauty and the bright future of agriculture. “It is necessary that we widely incorporate the different practices of this industry in their (youth) educational curriculum, affiliated organizations and even in their respective communities,” she further claimed.
Conveying support and inspiration to the graduates, she remarked, “Seeing you learn various agriculture technologies, the academic aspects of farming, and farming as business while preserving culture gives us joy in our hearts, satisfaction in our minds and motivation to continuously bring farming closer to the youth.”
With the integrated courses, hands-on exercises on the farm and actual experience, Taposok is confident that they have been equipped with knowledge, skills and positive behaviors of an “Agrientrepreneur” with utmost selflessness and sense of nationalism. Moreover, she believed that at their young age, they are already capable of practicing what they have learned as they have undertaken actual demonstration.
Taposok also assured that ATI will continue supporting and doing its part in the provision of extension services and capability building for sustainable development.
“With our collective efforts, we can inspire more of you, young people who are passionate about agricultural and rural advancement,” she noted.
In conclusion, she reminded them to continue learning and promoting the profession of satisfying basic human needs, contributing to the wellbeing as well as to the survival of the expanding and developing human population.
The ATI-EP Graduation Program was held last February 16, 2018 in GB III Agro Farms, in Region XII.