OpinionsEye OpenerUnderstanding farmer decline

Understanding farmer decline

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In a recent article by the Philippine News Agency, it was reported that damage to crops and other agricultural losses in Negros Oriental reached over P541 million due to the El Niño-induced drought.

The report said that some 1,410 hectares of land affected by drought were damaged and have no chance of recovery, while roughly 3,607 hectares were partially damaged.

Production loss in value, including rice, corn, high-value crops, fisheries, and livestock, was pegged at over 9,560 metric tons.

According to that report, El Niño has affected 21 towns and cities in the entire Province.

This is what I have been afraid of since many years ago.

 

Highly-challenged

In recent years, the agricultural landscape – not just in our province but the whole country – has been facing unprecedented challenges. From the devastating impacts of El Niño to the dwindling number of aging farmers, our agricultural sector is in dire need of rejuvenation.

Amidst these adversities though, I believe there shines a beacon of hope – the youth.

It’s high time for our local governments and communities to recognize the invaluable role that young people can play in revitalizing our agricultural sector.

By fostering interest in farming among the youth and providing them with the necessary support and resources, we can not only mitigate the ill effects of El Niño but also address the pressing issue of an aging and diminishing farming population in our towns and cities.

El Niño, characterized by prolonged periods of drought and erratic weather patterns, poses a significant threat to agricultural productivity. The resulting water shortages and crop failures not only jeopardize food security but also exacerbate poverty and economic instability.

By empowering young farmers, we can implement innovative and sustainable farming practices that are resilient to the impacts of El Niño.

Young farmers bring fresh perspectives, technological savvy, and a willingness to embrace change. Through training programs, mentorship initiatives, and access to modern farming techniques, we can equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. From drought-resistant crops to water-efficient irrigation systems, the solutions are within reach, waiting to be cultivated by the next generation of agricultural leaders.

Furthermore, encouraging youth participation in farming can address the looming crisis of an aging and diminishing farming population.

By inspiring and incentivizing young people to pursue careers in farming, we can breathe new life into our agricultural communities. Through education and awareness campaigns, we can dispel the outdated stigma surrounding farming and showcase the myriad opportunities it offers, from entrepreneurship to environmental stewardship.

Moreover, by providing financial assistance, land access, and support networks, we can empower young people and aspiring farmers to pursue their passion and contribute to the prosperity of their communities.

Let us join hands, local governments, communities, and young people alike, to cultivate a brighter future for Negros Oriental’s agriculture.

The future of our agriculture lies in the hands of the youth.

The seeds of change have been sown; now is the time to nurture them and watch them bloom.

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Author’s email: [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

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