Phl-Japan Exchange Program Offers Young Filipino Farmers New Opportunities

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Participants of the young farmers exchange program learn the basics in writing and speaking Japanese.

QUEZON CITY, Metro Manila—Six young Filipino farmers are set to welcome new opportunities to further their respective farming businesses through a one-month exchange program with farming families in Japan.

Under Tier 2 of the Agricultural Training Institute’s (ATI) Young Farmers’ Program (YFP), this young breed of farmers will train with Japanese farmers on different agricultural technologies for one month. They are expected to learn the Japanese practices and techniques on rice, fruit, swine, and poultry production and apply these to their farms upon return.

These six young farmers are active members of 4-H Clubs and other rural-based organizations in Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, and MiMaRoPa. They are individuals not older than 30 years old who passed the screening and validation processes of the ATI, in collaboration with the concerned local government units and regional Department of Agriculture offices.

“This gives me a chance to learn about the mechanized farming system in Japan which I hope to apply in our farm to address the challenge in terms of manual labor,” 28-year-old Irvin Joseph Reyes from Angeles, Pampanga.

Lack of and aging manpower are among the issues that Reyes shared when it comes to managing their farm. He said, “Farmers in our area would rather work in construction. In this way, they can earn the same amount of money without having to toil under the sun.”

In preparation for the trip, the ATI Partnerships and Accreditation Division arranged a week-long Nihongo class for the participants at the Institute’s Central Office. The group is scheduled to fly to Japan on October 15 and is expected to come back by November 22, 2018.

The said exchange program with Japan is in coordination with the Japan Agricultural Exchange Council. Japan is the second country to host the exchange program slated for the year under YFP, following South Korea in August.