Some people think that agriculture is unsophisticated and slow-moving in this modern world. That in a fast-pacing world, earning must be in a fast-pacing method, as well.
In a study conducted in 2020, it was noted that young people are less interested with agriculture because of various reasons: exposure to new technologies, attainment of higher level of education, and ambition to get wealthy in an instant.
Because of this, the country faces an issue which may affect the next generation.
Given the career preferences of young people these days, who will then carry out the important task of farming in the coming years?
In Ilocos Norte, an 83-year-old farmer, whose life has always been about agriculture, encourages young people to venture into organic farming.
Angel Padron, an organic farmer from Barangay Libtong in Bacarra town, shared his love for farming to hundreds of young farmers during the first Provincial Organic Agriculture Congress on Jan. 17 in Ilocos Norte.
He began farming in 1956 and furthered into organic farming in 2014.
Because of his dedication and passion for organic farming, he was recognized as the first organic farmer in Bacarra and the first to establish the province’s School of Practical Agriculture.
In all opportunities that he’s been given, Padron makes it a point to inspire and encourage people, especially the young ones, to change their views about farming. That farming is a way of life.
He even offered his services for free in schools to ensure that there would be a new generation of farmers to rise in the future.
He owns a 5,000sqm farm where he continues to practice organic farming and grows rice, beans, cucumbers, eggplant, tomatoes, bitter gourds, and luffa squash.
“I want to impart to upcoming farmers my vast experience and knowledge. Because they won't remember you if you give them material wealth. However, if you share your knowledge and skills, they will always recognize you”, said Padron.
While he says that income in organic farming may be less, he tells young people that the nutrients gained from crops produced through this method are abundant.
Padron was also the former President of the Ilocos Norte Organic Fertilizer Association, former Chair of the Provincial Agricultural and Fishery Council for 19 years, and former member of a civil society organization in the province, and an ABS-CBN Gawad Geny Lopez Jr. Bayaning Pilipino Awardee in 2019.
Despite minimal interest among the youth in this generation, Padron remains to ignite a spark of appreciation on organic farming in the ways that he can.
His story is a testament that agriculture will never die, but will always be a way of life. (JCR/MJTAB PIA Ilocos Norte)