QUEZON CITY -- Some 14 young farmers rise to the challenge of elevating the country’s agri-fishery sector as the implementation of the Young Filipino Farm Leaders Training Program in Japan (YFFLTPJ) resumed this year.
This is after more than a year of reprograming for this joint initiative of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Japan Agricultural Exchange Council (JAEC), and Japan Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, due to the global pandemic.
During the Ceremonial Send-off Program, Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary-designate and Chief-of-Staff (COS) Leocadio Sebastian, challenged the trainees to learn the value of working together, the same way the Japanese operates as a nation.
“The Japanese always try to work together to get to where they are now, and that is the process you have to learn,” he said.
Sebastian emphasized that it is important for the young farmers to learn as much as they can in Japan and come back localizing the things and processes they have observed, “bringing the country higher than where we are now.”
He affirmed, “We can be another modern, industrialized agricultural country in our own way and style.”
“So be disciplined, consistent, obedient, and patient at all times,” the DA COS advised the trainees.
Similarly, ATI Officer-in-Charge Director Rosana Mula assured the Institute’s support to the young farmers in the entire duration of the Program.
Mula said that the support, in turn, entails that when the trainees come back, they can develop impressive farm business proposals adopting some appropriate technologies they have learned in Japan.
At the end of her message, she reminded them to “be the agents of change and potential leaders” in their respective communities.
JAEC Philippine Representative Wilfredo De Chavez also attended the activity, giving the young farmers some tips and reminders as they stay in Japan.
Meanwhile, expressing the resiliency of batch 2021 and rising to the challenge posed by the program implementers, YFFLTPJ President Abra Kaslon vowed to bring positive changes in the sector after the training program.
The young farmers have undergone preparatory courses since last year to further equip them with appropriate agri-fishery knowledge and skills.
This send-off event was held last November 19 in this city.
Moreover, the trainees left for Japan last November 22, following the departure of some 25 young farmers to Taiwan last October for another internship program. (MAntonio / DA-ATI)