CLARK FREEPORT The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is encouraging more farmers, cooperatives and entrepreneurs to establish more agricultural schools in their respective localities to further stimulate rural development.
Speaking at the start of the “Training of Agricultural Business School Facilitators” seminar in Cavite, TESDA Deputy General Manager Aniceto D. Bertiz III said increased agricultural training can improve productivity and competitiveness of farmers.
He noted that Filipino farmers earned about 2,300 pesos a month for every half hectare of land they farmed, and most farmers did not earn enough to support their families.
“This training has been designed so that our farmers have the right knowledge, skills and attitudes that will help them increase their agricultural production through new technologies and entrepreneurial activities,” he said.
As part of its Enterprise Training or “EBT to the Max” initiative, TESDA has implemented the Program for Accelerating the Establishment of Agricultural Schools (PAFSE) to promote the proliferation of agricultural schools and the use of a ‘farmer to farmer, learning by doing’.
In order to be able to offer agro-related programs, farms can be smaller than one hectare or even larger than 10 hectares.
Some 62 training programs can be registered with TESDA and offered to the public under PAFSE.
These include qualification titles such as agricultural crop production, aquaculture, horticulture, organic agriculture production, rice machinery operations, and animal production, among others.
Training and assessment costs will be covered by TESDA’s Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP).
The target beneficiaries of the program include farmers and fishermen and their relatives, as well as members of the community where the agricultural school is located.
To date, 399 farmer field school programs are registered with TESDA and implemented in various agricultural schools as well as private and public institutions nationwide.