DILIMAN, Quezon City—The 21 young farmers who are part of the 2018 batch of Young Filipino Farmers’ Training Program in Japan (YFFTPJ) expressed their gratitude for their teachers and mentors for enhancing their knowledge, attitude, and skills in preparation for the 11-month training program in Japan.
In the closing ceremony of the Pre-Departure Orientation Course (PDOC), the participants of the 2018 YFFTPJ took the opportunity to thank the people involved in making their 75-day preparatory training a success.
“The orientation course gave us the chance to enhance our knowledge through lessons on Nihongo and on different farming technologies. I think the most important result of this course, however, is that we were able to build our self-esteem and develop our personality and attitude,” batch president John Paul Cabangal from Pigcawayan, North Cotabato said in his speech.
Cabangal, who was also awarded the most outstanding trainee of the PDOC, underscored that the most significant part of the program is not just about them gaining knowledge but also sharing such knowledge to others. With a short story, he encouraged his fellow trainees to learn from and respond positively to challenges ahead by “shaking it off and stepping it up.”
Meanwhile, 24-year-old Richard Dadole from Impasugong, Bukidnon shared his excitement to learn advanced farming technologies from Japanese farmers. Upon his return, he plans to improve their farm, focusing on sweet corn, strawberry, and high value crops.
“I look forward to sharing with others whatever I will learn because I feel that we serve as an example for other people, especially the youth, to engage in agriculture,” he said.
Dadole’s mother, Gerabeth, was present at the ceremony along with the parents and relatives of the other trainees. She expressed her support for her son to give his best during the training and, eventually, be able to share his knowledge within their municipality because, she said, some farmers in their area lack knowledge on new farming technologies.
As part of the PDOC, the young farmers underwent classes on Nihongo, Japanese and Filipino culture and customs, dairy and cattle production, swine production, off-season vegetables, and rice production and farm mechanization.
In her opening message, ATI Officer-in-Charge Director Luz Taposok encouraged the young farmers to learn to adapt to their surroundings and always be ready to take new opportunities especially as they will serve as teachers to the next generation of farmers. Japan Agricultural Exchange Council (JAEC) Local Coordinator Koji Kaneda also spoke to the trainees on how the program will help them grow and level up.
ATI Deputy Director Alfredo Aton was, likewise, grateful for the good partnership between Japan and the Philippines, stressing that the Institute will continue to carry out the program as the country needs more farmers and the farmers need new knowledge.
ATI Partnerships and Accreditation thanked everyone who supported the program and shared plans for its expansion which started this year with the inclusion of participants from schools like the University of Southern Mindanao. For next year, young women farmers will be also included in the program, the first in its over 30 years of implementation.
During the closing ceremony, special awards were given to top performing trainees. Taposok also led the distribution of certificates of completion for the preparatory course. The young farmers are bound for Japan by April 12 to represent the country in the ASEAN Young Farm Leaders Training Program in Japan.
Aside from ATI and JAEC officials, Japan Agricultural Exchange Council Alumni Association of the Philippines national president Domingo dela Cruz and partner Japanese language lecturers from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority were also present at the event. The PDOC closing ceremony was held on April 10, 2018 at the ATI Mess Hall in the Institute’s central office compound in this city.