News Release

DA: Training makes farming a dependable fallback for retirees

Farming in the Philippines may be a reliable backup for retirees to venture into with the right training, according to Department of Agriculture (DA) Assistant Secretary Arnel De Mesa.

De Mesa told reporters in a press conference on Saturday in Quezon City that 20 percent of the population in the Philippines is engaged into the sector of agriculture, which significantly contributes to the GDP growth rate of the country.

“Iyong percentage ng population na engaged sa agriculture is 20 percent, so 1/5 of total population natin engaged in agriculture in one way or another,” De Mesa said.

“Iyong contribution ng sector natin sa GDP is nine or less than 10 percent. So, ibig sabihin nito, malaking populasyon natin ang engaged pa rin sa sektor ng agrikultura at nag-eemploy,” he added.

Based on studies, De Mesa said, there are many retirees who venture into farming, but fail to sustain it due to lack of training, preparation, and knowledge.

He urged Filipinos who opted to resort into farming after retiring to prepare themselves and invest into trainings so that they will have sufficient knowledge and ensure higher success rate in farming.

“Kasi akala nila after retirement kapag nag-farm everything is easy and ok, but agriculture is a science. Hindi puwedeng pag-retire mo magbi-venture ka agad without any experience, without any training , without anything sa field ng agriculture kasi madi-drain talaga iyong savings and retirement ng ating mga kababayan,” De Mesa said.

“So, dapat habang malayo pa iyong retirement at plano nila na mag-venture into farming or agriculture kailangan hinahanda rin nila iyong kanilang sarili technically speaking, financially speaking para kapag nag-retire na sila at handa na sila100 percent sumabak sa pagbubukid. Handang-handa sila at hindi masasayang iyong kanilang retirement money or iyong pinaghirapan nila. So, mas magiging successful – iyong degree ng success ay magiging mas mataas,” he added.

De Mesa said that based on the latest data, the median age of most farmers in the Philippines is at 56 and 57, just like in other countries such as Korea and Japan, adding that the only difference is their farming system which is highly-mechanized that even older women are capable of managing farm activities.

De Mesa added that it is also what the government aspires to do for the Filipino farmers.

“Ang kaibahan lamang, dito sa mga bansa na ito [Korean and Japan] highly-mechanized sila so kahit medyo may edad babae iyong nagma-manage sa farm o nagagawa sa farm, hindi sila masyadong hirap dahil highly-mechanized iyong kanilang far system which iyon dapat din ang gawin natin dito,” he pointed out.

De Mesa stated the importance of mechanization in agriculture in increasing production, and making the farmers’ life easier and better. | PND