Pushing the Youth Forward through Agriculture

Pushing the Youth Forward through Agriculture

Distracted with the rise of new technologies, children are veering away from agriculture. Some cannot see the significance of agriculture – being dirty and all. Some cannot even identify crops or plants without seeing their fruits.

Luckily, in a town located in Tarlac, agriculture is still being taught to the youth.

A native from Ramos, Tarlac, Mr. Melecio Reguindin, Jr., a computer teacher turned full-time farmer, approached the agriculture teachers in Guiteb Elementary School and shared to them ways on how to improve the activities for the children.

As told by Ms. Lilia Armina, Agri Leader from the said school, Reguindin was a big help for them, much more to the kids. Armina admitted that they, even as teachers, have limited knowledge about agriculture thus they needed someone like Reguindin, a technician who is willing to help.

Through the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Reguindin made his action plan tangible (since he was a farmers’ field school [FFS] participant) through planting vegetables in his community. He even encouraged the out of school youths to join him in the activity. With all the trainings he attended and activities he has done, he became more knowledgeable towards farming.

In 2014, Reguindin started to adopt a new system of farming: Palayamanan. This was a very fitting remedy because he has been implementing mono-cropping his whole farming life. After harvesting for one cropping season, he has no income after that. However, with his determination, he did not let this hindrance affect in achieving success. “Ako po ay hindi humihinto hanggang hindi po ako nagtatagumpay [I don’t give up until I succeed],” he added.

As the chosen recipient of the Palayamanan project, just using the small area that his mother gave him, he invested in various commodities: livestock, vegetables, rice and fish pond. With Palayamanan, he claims that his income doubled.

With his growing responsibility, he made sure that he shared his learnings to others: children and farmers alike. Reguindin made a schedule of activities for the children and taught them through hands-on activities.

With Reguindin’s help, the plants in the backyard of the school improved and at the same time the children were taught about the importance of organic farming. He made use of the available resources in the backyard such as dried leaves and even chicken dung since they have a small poultry area.

Reguindin taught the children to develop their skills when it comes to agriculture. He also showed them the importance of loving their work. He hopes one day that the children will instil within them the essence of agriculture and will opt to venture in it someday. Armina shared that the children were easy to manage after being taught by Reguindin.

When asked what his dream is, the Palayamanan farmer answered that he wants to help and teach the children, who will eventually become farmers in the future, and co-farmers to adopt the system that he is using for them to make their lives easier and become successful. The Municipal Agriculturist (MA) of Ramos, Tarlac, Mrs. Arceli Agustin attested to that. She said, “Very eager si Mel na ishare ang kanyang mga natutunan sa kanyang kapwa magsasaka at mga bata [Mel is very eager to share what he has learned to other farmers and youth].”

With his love for agriculture, he doesn’t want the children to be ignorant about it. Without agriculture, there is no food. As they say, the children is the hope of the nation. By not teaching them, surely the next generation will become ignorant and will starve to death. And he will never let that happen.