The business sector is focusing on encouraging the new breed of workers who want to help till the farms as farmers have been getting old.
This is one issue that the organizers of the upcoming Davao Agri-Trade Expo on September 21 to 23 will discuss when the event takes place in September, said John Carlo Tria, Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice president for professional services during the weekly Wednesdays@Habi at Kape at Abreeza Mall.
Tria said that there is a need to convince the youth to join the sector so it could be able to grow especially because Mindanao is reliant on it. In the last few years, he said that based on government data, the sector registered a negative growth, or was sinking, so to make it start growing again, workers of younger ages must also get involved.
“When agriculture grows, rural incomes go up. When rural incomes go up, there is more money in the pockets of people outside of the urban area,” said Tria.
Dr. Adrian Tamayo of the Mindanao Development Authority said that some studies showed that the average age of farmers at present is 57 as there is a need to bring down the age average to enhance productivity.
“We must be able to convince the young to join the sector by showing to them that it is also profitable,” Tamayo said.
Tria said he has discussed the issues with young people, some of them have been working other industry like the business process outsourcing sector, and that they have expressed their interest to plunge into the agricultural sector because of the prospect of better and stable income.
Because of this, the business group has partnered with other institutions in the efforts of convincing the young to join the sector and that during the event, several activities are lined up for the purpose of showcasing that agriculture is a better alternative, among these is the Young Agriprenuers Meet-up, a side event where those interested to go into farming will be taught by young entrepreneurs in the sector.