DILIMAN, Quezon City–Equipped with new knowledge and skills in farming, 18 young Filipino farmers are now ready to blaze the trail in agriculture after an intensive 11-month training with Japanese host farmers.
These young farmers comprise Batch 2017 of the Young Filipino Farmers’ Training Program in Japan (YFFTPJ), which the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) implements in partnership with Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Japan Agricultural Exchange Council.
ATI officials and staff welcomed the newly trained young farmers who arrived from Japan on February 22. They are set to convene for a post-training evaluation and preparation of proposals for their chosen agricultural project where they can apply the knowledge they gained from their training.
On February 23, these young farmers shared their experiences and insights about the training with the program management team from the ATI Partnerships and Accreditation Division.
“I was homesick and a bit anxious in the first few months but I eventually learned to appreciate my stay with my host family as I learned a lot from them. The training has indeed been a happy experience for me,” 26-year-old Emerson Ramac from Isabela said.
Meanwhile, 24-year-old Jayson dela Cruz from Ilocos Norte described the YFFTPJ as a “bridge” for young people like them to become successful farmers.
On February 26, the group made a courtesy call with ATI Officer-in-Charge Director Luz Taposok and Deputy Director Alfredo Aton. Taposok congratulated the young farmers in their successful training and shared how glad she is that they were able to make it. She then urged them pursue integrated and diversified farming systems as they develop their respective project proposals.
“Now that you’ve gained a good deal of knowledge and skills, I am sure that you will be able to increase your production and income in the years ahead,” she said.
The young farmers met with the coordinators of the program from the ATI regional training centers and with Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for High Value Crops and Rural Credit Evelyn Laviña later in the day. They are also set to share their experiences in a group session with the YFFTPJ Batch 2018.
The YFFTPJ 2017 graduates are set to complete the post-training evaluation on March 1, 2018.