Posted by: luvin | June 14, 2016

On Becoming a Farmer

Though I have recently met people who are so ecstatic about farming, they, however, are more interested in the business aspect of farming, and are obviously attracted to relax farm life as oppose to city life. Farming as we know here in the Philippines is not something to really dream on. Rare is a Filipino farmer who would like their children to also become a farmer like them.

The state of Philippine Agriculture according to IRIN is like this;

“The average age of the Filipino farmer is 57. Assuming an average life span of 70, we might reach a critical [shortage] of farmers in just 15 years,” said Asterio Saliot, director of the Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI).

“The average level of education of a farmer is grade five only,” he added.

According to Saliot, farmers’ age and limited education make them less receptive to new farming technologies that can boost yields in the face of growing losses from volatile weather.

Weak government policies and programmes, an excessive reliance on agricultural imports, and corruption, have taken their toll on the agricultural sector, say experts.

According to the 2012 Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, the agricultural sector employs an estimated 12 million people, making up 33 percent of the country’s labour force. About 70 percent of the rural poor are farmers and fishermen.

Though the sector contributes about 11 percent to the country’s GDP with US$14.7 billion, 2011 government investment in the sector was only 4 percent of the national budget.

That year total government spending on agriculture was $1.6 billion, almost 24 percent lower than the previous year.”

There was a clear neglect from the government and there is a apparent lack of skills and knowledge from the farmers side.

Having these data, common sense dictates to avoid this sector.  To become a rice farmer is no longer a choice, but those who opted to be one are left with no choice at all.


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