Young Filipino Farmers Advance Skills in Japan

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ATI Director Alfredo Aton, DA Assistant Secretary Andrew Villacorta, ATI Partnerships and Accreditation Division chief Renato dela Cruz, and Japan Agricultural Exchange Council Local Coordinator Koji Kaneda

One of the trainees, Jeker Yongson from Region XIII, receives his certificate of completion from officials of DA, ATI, and JAEC. (photo by Clemente Gabion)

DILIMAN, Quezon City—Twenty one young Filipino farmers have set foot to Japan to undergo skills training for 11 months.

This was last April 12 after these trainees completed a 75-day pre-departure orientation course (PDOC) which involved training courses on crop production, farm mechanization, swine production, and rice farming. They also took classes in Nihongo and the Japanese culture.

“Our commitment is to do our best as representatives of the country in the development of the agriculture sector,” Roberto Diesta, trainee from Region V and batch president, said.

During the PDOC culmination ceremony, Department of Agriculture Assistant Secretary for Operations, Agribusiness, and Marketing Andrew Villacorta reminded the trainees of their role in the improvement of the country’s agriculture, being that they are the “best among all the young farmers.”

He also challenged them, especially those engaged in rice farming, to strengthen efforts in rice production in support to the newly signed law on rice tariffication and liberalization.

Meanwhile, Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) Director Alfredo Aton congratulated the trainees and assured them of the Institute’s support in all their undertakings as Filipino farm leaders. He advised the trainees to make the best out of their time in Japan to learn new agricultural technologies.

“We need you, our young generation of farmers, to modernize Philippine agriculture,” he said.

Other guests during the event were Japan Agricultural Exchange Council (JAEC) Local Coordinator Koji Kaneda, ATI Regional Training Center directors, regional coordinators, and partner Japanese Language instructors from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

The Young Filipino Farm Leaders’ Training Program in Japan is an exchange program managed by the ATI, in partnership with JAEC and the Japan Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. The program is aimed at encouraging undergraduates of agriculture, fisheries, and business courses, and out-of-school youth to develop their farming ventures and become successful agri-preneurs and experts in their respective fields.

This year’s batch of trainees include, for the first time, females from different areas nationwide.

The culmination ceremony was held at the ATI Rural Development and Education Center last April 8 in this city.

ATI Today

Extension services continue to evolve. With the challenges that extension workers and farmers face, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) continues to explore various strategies to improve its efforts as the extension and training arm of the Department of Agriculture. In over 30 years, the ATI has celebrated various successes and learned from the lessons during hard times. Nonetheless, we are proud to be standing the test of time through the support of our partners and the clientele themselves. This is the ATI Today, more committed to bring you extension services beyond boundaries.