The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is encouraging farmers, cooperatives, and entrepreneurs to establish agricultural schools in their respective localities for further stimulation of rural development.
In his speech at the start of the “Training of Facilitators on Farm Business School” seminar in Cavite, TESDA Deputy Director General Aniceto D. Bertiz III shared that advanced training based on agriculture can improve the productivity and skills of farmers.
“Giving access to technical vocational education and training or TVET through agri-fishery farm schools is a strategy to achieve the long-term goal of development for rural areas,” he said.
He noted that Filipino farmers earn about PhP 2,300 per month from each half hectare of cultivated land, and most farmers do not earn enough to support their families.
“This training is designed so that our farmers have the right knowledge, skills and discipline that will help increase their agricultural production through new technologies and economic activities,” he said.
As part of the enterprise-based training or “EBT to the Max”, TESDA is implementing the Program on Accelerating Farm School Establishment (PAFSE) to promote the proliferation of farming schools, and the “farmer to farmer, learning by doing”.
In order to offer agriculture-related programs, farms in their area may be less than one hectare or larger than 10 hectares. There are 62 training programs that can be registered with TESDA and offered to the public under PAFSE.
This includes qualification titles such as Agricultural Crop Production, Aquaculture, Horticulture, Organic Agriculture Production, Rice Machinery Operations, and Animal Production and many others.
Training and assessment costs will be covered by the Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP) of TESDA. Target beneficiaries of the program include farmers and fishermen and their relatives, as well as community members where the farming schools are located.
Currently, there are 399 farmer field school programs registered with TESDA implemented in various agricultural schools as well as private and public institutions throughout the country.