MANILA – Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. has emphasized that making investments and a career in agriculture profitable is essential to attract the next generation of farmers and fishermen.
“My vision for agriculture is to make it sustainable, profitable and appealing to the younger generation,” Laurel said on Tuesday.
The Commission on Appointments (CA) has unanimously approved Laurel's interim appointments.
Earlier, DA data revealed the average age of Filipino farmers ranged from 55 to 59.
Experts predict the country will experience a critical shortage of farmers in 10 to 12 years.
This threatens the country’s goal of self-sufficiency and food security.
Laurel said he was called by the President (Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.) to serve the country and to lead it out of high food prices; low food production; broken food supply chains; lack of irrigation, cold storage, credit, and other key inputs; and aging farmers and fisherfolk.
These tasks, he said, together with climate change and geopolitical disruptions, could be challenging but are achievable with a whole-of-country and whole-of-society approach.
"Sustainability encompasses every aspect of human existence, and thus needs the collective understanding, commitment, and action of every sector of society now and every day,” he said.
He added all facets of agriculture are equally important. There is vast potential in fisheries, livestock, poultry, and high-value crops and not just in the production of rice.
With these, Laurel assured the public that he would rely on science and market data to ensure timely interventions to modernize agriculture to realize food security and sufficiency, as well as sustainability under his term. (PNA)