Press Release
October 25, 2015

Villar vows to address hindrances to agri growth

Senator Cynthia A. Villar assured she remains focused on problems and issues that hinder the growth of the country's agriculture sector and further burden our farmers and fisherfolks.

Speaking during the Training and Workshop on "Strategic Management in Agricultural Development for Poverty Reduction," Villar told the participants that she is committed in improving the plight of farmers and fisherfolks who are among the poorest sectors in the country.

She also prioritizes support to further education and training of our farmers and fisherfolks and their families and children.

"Since I practice what I preach, the Villar SIPAG, in partnership with various groups and organizations, sponsors regular training programs and workshops. That's all throughout the year because we are decided to help you," said Villar.

She noted that small farmers and fisherfolks need to learn and acquire winning skills and strategies. She said continuing education is a key to this.

"In my interactions with farmers, I found out that what separates an award-winning and a profitable farmer from an ordinary one is simply employing the correct strategy in farming. Why does a Gawad Saka awardee farmer earn P50,000 per hectare? However, a farmer who owns one hectare earns only P4,000. One is using a more effective and profitable farming technique than the other," explained Villar.

While access to education and training is important especially for poor faming families, Villar however cited the absence of funds and resources.

"That is the gap ACEF (Agriculture Competitiveness Enhancement Fund) scholarships are supposed to fill. We want to extend the scholarship grants through ACEF," she said.

The Nacionalista Party senator also related she pursued in the Senate the granting of TESDA scholarships for agriculture training.

Through the courses that will be offered, she said, farmers will learn basic knowhow such as operation and maintenance of modern machineries, which is important in the government's efforts towards farm mechanization.

"On top of that, they can be taught financial literacy, accounting and entrepreneurship among others."

TESDA has alloted P500 million for agricultural training of 45,000 students.

According to Villar, our farmers should not only be productive and profitable but also competitive. She said Filipino farmers and fisherfolks need to cope with intensified competition especially with the regional economic cooperation under the ASEAN Economic Community that will begin its implementation this December.

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