TESDA trained over 56K rice farmers, dependents in 2023

TESDA trained over 56K rice farmers, dependents in 2023

Feb 16, 2024, 12:00 AM
Rose De La Cruz

Rose De La Cruz


The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) said it had trained in 2023 over 56,000 rice farmers with the proper skills and education to ensure the sustainability of agriculture and help the country attain its self-sufficiency targets taster.

TESDA Secretary Suiharto Mangudatatu said the rice farmers and their family members completed various agriculture and agri-related courses offered by the agency under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund- Rice Extension Services Program (RCEF-RESP) scholarship program.

Region III or Central Luzon produced the most number at 6,973 graduates in 2023, followed by Regions X and II with 5, 247 and 4,810 graduates, respectively.

“In the past years, we have prioritized the agriculture sector in the provision of our training programs as we believe that this can ultimately contribute to our country achieving food security and self-sufficiency,” Mangudadatu said.

“The impact of this achievement extends far beyond the numbers. It signifies a positive shift towards a more sustainable and efficient agricultural sector. By investing in the skills and education of our farmers, we are laying the foundation for a better future for our nation,” he explained.

TESDA trains rice farmers as part of its implementation of Republic Act 11203, or the Rice Liberalization Act.

The implementing guidelines were issued in September 2019 on RCEF-RESP activities to be carried out by the Agency through its regional and provincial offices.

The RCEF-RESP initiative has played a pivotal role in equipping the Filipino farmers with essential skills, ranging from modern farming techniques to agribusiness management.

The TESDA courses under RCEF-RESP include Farm Field School on production of high-quality inbred rice and seed certification and farm mechanization, rice machinery operations, drying and milling plant servicing NC III, agro-entrepreneurship NC II, pest and nutrients management, and digital agriculture.

Last September, the TESDA encouraged more Filipino youth to be engaged in the agriculture sector, particularly in availing of its agriculture-related training courses, especially on modern rice farming.

TESDA Deputy Director General Aniceto D. Bertiz III said that young people in the urban and rural areas should take the rice farming courses also even as the agency took pride in producing more trainees from its agriculture-related skills training courses.

Agriculture is a priority sector of TESDA as identified in the National Technical Education and Skills Development Plan (NTESDP) 2018-2022.

Bertiz said TESDA has been providing scholarship programs on rice farming under the Program on Accelerating Farm School Establishment (PAFSE) and Rice Extension Services Program (RESP).

The PAFSE is being implemented as part of TESDA’s enterprise-based training or “EBT to the Max” initiative to promote the proliferation of farm schools, and the use of a “farmer to farmer, learning by doing” methodology.

The RESP, on the other hand, is being implemented under the Republic Act 11203, or the Rice Liberalization Act, signed in 2019.

Under the RESP, TESDA offers courses, such as Farm Field School on Production of High-Quality Inbred Rice and Seed Certification and Farm Mechanization, Rice Machinery Operations, Drying and Milling Plant Servicing NC III, Agro-entrepreneurship NC II, Pest and Nutrients Management, and Digital Agriculture Course in the Farm Field School (FFS) nationwide.

Bertiz, a known OFW rights advocate, also shared that the TESDA has an ongoing partnership with Israel’s Agro-Studies to provide trainers and professors in the agriculture sector to pursue advanced studies on modernized farming.

He added that TESDA continues to improve and expand its services particularly in the agriculture sector to help the country achieve food self-sufficiency.

“We are developing more training courses for agriculture including the post-harvest training programs for them to market their products,” Bertiz said.

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