MANILA — The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) will soon introduce new courses to get the youth explore a career in high-tech farming.
Secretary Joel Villanueva, TESDA Director General, announced that the TESDA board has approved the prioritization of seven qualification titles for the development of Training Regulations in the area of agricultural and fishery mechanization.
These are Farm Machinery Operations, Farm Machinery Servicing, Drying and Milling Processing Plant Servicing, Irrigation System Installation and Maintenance, Aquaculture NC III (Mechanization), Biogas Systems Installation and Maintenance, and Dairy Processing.
The “pastoral” image of farming as low-skilled and physically demanding is outdated, the Future of Farming review said, and farms required IT-literate, entrepreneurial staff to prosper.
“The traditional view of agricultural work being for the low-skilled and involving manual hard labor no longer holds,” Villanueva said.
“A significant component of the development of more Training Regulations is to give our youth more career choices, and deliver a new image for farming as akin to a profession requiring a huge range of skilled tasks,” he said.
According to the 2013 Labor Market Intelligence Report, agriculture and fishery industry was among the priority industries seen to spur job generation in the country.
As the trend towards mechanized agriculture grows, Villanueva said it is important to offer training on using machinery to mechanize the work of agriculture, which greatly increases productivity of farm work.
“As the country’s farmers age, we want to train second-liners who will take the place of the elders on the field,” the TESDA chief said.
“Mechanization holds promise for future farm workers,” he added.
Mechanical skills and aptitude are needed to do the basic engine operations in safe and efficient manner.
The development of new Training Regulations was also in line with the establishment of a new bureau under the Department of Agriculture.
In February this year, the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 10601 (Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act) was approved, which created the Philippine Center for Post-harvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech).
The new office will lead in the overall research, development and extension in farm and fisheries mechanization initiatives in the country.