Author: Manny B. Villar
Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Philippine Statistics Authority.
Of the three major economic sectors – services, industry and agriculture – the latter is probably the most challenged, particularly because one of the challenges – weather disturbances – is beyond human control and often very destructive.
However, agriculture is the one economic sector that cannot be abandoned. Even the most industrialized nations like the United States and Japan maintain and continue developing a viable farming sector. Food security, after all, is essential to every person and every country.
In the Philippines, which boasts of large tracts of fertile lands, establishing food security is a continuing and sometimes daunting struggle, not only because of the many destructive typhoons that visit every year, but other factors as well.
One of these is the aging of the Filipino farmer: I have seen reports saying the average age of Filipino farmers at present is 57 to 59, which means they’re almost at retirement age, and will soon join the ranks of senior citizens. It also means that new generations of young farmers are not going to the agriculture sector.