Author: Robert Domoguen
Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Philippine Statistics Authority.
THE average age of farmers and fisherfolks in the Philippines is 57 years old. That was established by the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), a few years ago. Back then, it noted that most of the young in the countryside were migrating to the cities. They are not interested in farming anymore.
I bring this bit of recent history back to mind as farming is indeed slowly dying. This is apparent if you visit the countryside today. More farms are abandoned, if not converted to other uses.
This reality becomes all the more disturbing each day.
The young are migrating to the urban areas to pursue lucrative jobs in commercial centers. As farming has long been associated with poverty, parents encourage and advise their children to find jobs or pursue other livelihood occupations besides farming.
So in a nation whose farmers are aging, the lack of interest by the young to engage in farming depletes the pool of current and potential labor force who produce and feed the nation.