The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is encouraging more farmers, cooperatives, and entrepreneurs to establish more farm schools in their respective localities to further spur rural development.
Speaking at the start of “Training of Facilitators on Farm Business School” seminar in Cavite, TESDA Deputy Director General Aniceto D. Bertiz III shared that increased agriculture-based training can improve the productivity and competitiveness of farmers.
“Ang pagbibigay ng access sa technical vocational education and training o TVET sa pamamagitan ng agri-fishery farm schools ay isang istratehiya para makamit ang pangmatagalang hangarin ng pag-unlad para sa mga kanayunan,” he said.
He noted that Filipino farmers make around PhP 2,300 monthly for every half-hectare of land tilled, and most farmers do not earn enough to support their families.
“This training has been designed so that our farmers will have the right knowledge, skills and attitudes that will help increase their agricultural production through new technologies and entrepreneurial activities,” he said.
As part of its enterprise-based training or “EBT to the Max” initiative, TESDA has been implementing the Program on Accelerating Farm School Establishment (PAFSE) to promote the proliferation of farm schools, and the use of a “farmer to farmer, learning by doing” methodology.
To be able to offer agri-related programs, farms can be less than one hectare or even larger than 10 hectares in area. Some 62 training programs may be registered with TESDA and offered to the public under the PAFSE.
These include such qualification titles as Agricultural Crop Production, Aquaculture, Horticulture, Organic Agriculture Production, Rice Machinery Operations, and Animal Production among many others.
Costs of training and assessment will be covered by TESDA’s Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP). Target beneficiaries of the program include farmers and fisherfolk and their relatives, as well as members of the community where the farm school is situated.
To date, there are 399 farmer field school programs registered with TESDA and being implemented in various farm schools as well as private and public institutions nationwide.