QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA – The Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program of the Department of Agriculture participated in the Knowledge Learning Market and Policy Engagement (KLMPE) Conference entitled “Celebrating the International Decade of Family Farming: Strengthening the Role of the Youth in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development” held at the Bahay ng Alumni, University of the Philippines Diliman last November 13-14, 2019.
SAAD Planning and Monitoring Head, Mr. Ulysses J. Lustria, Jr., and Project Development Officer, Mr. Ian Kevin M. Sevilla attended the event. The SAAD supports family farms through social preparation and food production and livelihood projects.
On the first day, Selected members of the KLMPE Technical Working Group (TWG) delivered solidarity messages. Mr. Jerry E. Pacturan, Country Programme Officer of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) cited democratic changes, digital revolution, and climate change are critical elements affecting rural development. Ms. Wopsyjenn M. Peñas, a youth farmer and member of the PANAW-Sumilao Multi-Purpose Cooperative encouraged the youth to utilize their acumen on technology to enhance the agricultural sector.
DA Undersecretary and Chief of Staff Ms. Cheryl Marie Natividad-Caballero underscored the importance of evolving farmers into agribusiness entrepreneurs and value-adding. Food and Agriculture Organization Assistant Representative Tamara Jean Palis-Duran stressed the role of family farming to achieve food security.
Ms. Caridad R. Corridor of Philippine Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (PhilDHRRA) and Prof. Venarica B. Papa from the University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS) gave importance to farmers having a voice and making their grievances known.
Members of the KLMPE TWG held a press conference to address pressing issues regarding family farming. Demonstrations were also conducted on mobilizing financial resources for rural communities, community mapping, and participatory GIS.
In the afternoon, breakout sessions were held in separate areas of the venue to discuss submitted case stories of youth farmers, their good practices, the challenges they faced and how they overcame them, and how similar successes can be replicated on a larger scale.
On the second day, another set of breakout sessions were held to discuss the seven (7) pillars of family farming and what specific changes could be done to enhance the global action plan and related government policies such as the currently-pending Magna Carta of young farmers.
The KLMPE Conference is an effort related to the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF+5) and the United Nations Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF), both of which aim to empower the youth to engage in agricultural activities, using their proclivity to science and technology for modernizing farming procedures and eventually lifting the poor from poverty and hunger. ####
Writer: Ian Kevin M. Sevilla, SAAD National Planning and Monitoring Office