Reviving Farming Interest in the Philippines Through Agricultural Entrepreneurship Education
AbstractThere is a need to entice a new generation of Filipinos to practice value-added agriculture to replace the current farmers expected to retire in a decade or so. But persistent poverty levels in agricultural areas have dissuaded Filipino youth from pursuing opportunities in this sector. In this commentary, we propose that the Philippine government work with private investors and socio-civic organizations to revive interest in agriculture by positioning it as an attractive and viable option. This can be done by stimulating entrepreneurial activities in agriculture, through targeted agricultural entrepreneurship education. Entrepreneurship shifts attention from producing more of the same things to producing value-added goods and services through managed agricultural risks. To encourage opportunity seeking and value creation in this sector, there is need to train current farmers to become more entrepreneurial and to educate future generations to become agricultural entrepreneurs. This commentary presents four current strategies to increase interest in agricultural entrepreneurship in the Philippines—Family Farm Schools, the SAKA program, Farm Business Schools, and the Social Enterprise approach of Gawad Kalinga. Clearly, a more concerted effort among government, socio-civic organizations, and private investors is needed for substantial outcomes to materialize.
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