Author: Chrisee Dela Paz
Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Philippine Statistics Authority.
MANILA, Philippines – Tony Tan Caktiong, the person behind Asia's largest food service firm Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC), foresees a gap in agricultural workforce in the Philippines: a new generation that will replace the current farmers.
Citing recent studies, STI Education Services Group Incorporated said the average age of farmers in the Philippines is 57 years old.
This raises alarm over the possible future gap in human resource requirements for agriculture and poses a threat to food security and sustainability.
For STI chairman Eusebio Tanco, persuading young Filipinos and their parents to consider the agriculture track is a tough sell, thinking there is no viable career in the industry.
STI said the condition of farmers in agricultural areas also dissuades the youth from pursuing higher education in related courses.
"Even a typical farmer would not encourage his children to get into agriculture as a career," the institution said.
Faced with a possible human resource gap, companies are working with colleges and universities to provide young Filipinos the academic education needed to succeed in the industry.