TACLOBAN CITY – The Leyte provincial government is pushing for skills training for the children of farmers who have been receiving assistance over the past years.
The program is in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), tasked to raise the capability of youth to process and market farm produce.
Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla said the training intended for children of farmers belonging to established associations, is designed to hone their skills to process raw farm products into high value processed food.
The month-long training has started this month for the first batch.
Training will be done in TESDA-accredited training centers closer to residence of recipients. No educational attainment is required to avail the program, according to the governor.
“We want children to learn these skills because food processing is more complicated than planting crops or raising animals,” Petilla added.
This training by TESDA is primarily funded from the office of Senator Loren Legarda.
The provincial government has been training thousands of farmers on producing high-value crops using new technologies.
As of June, the initiative has covered 180 villages all over the province. Priority areas are those with high poverty incidence and areas known to be former hotbeds of the New People’s Army.
The program, officially dubbed as More Income in the Countryside (MIC) compact farming for high-value vegetables and fruit crops, also covers areas with organized group of women and persons with disabilities.
Petilla said the program was conceptualized in the province seven years ago to raise the income of poor farmers, ensure stable local supply of high value crops, link farmers with institutional buyers, increase school participation rate, and curb malnutrition among children.