Last June 13, we featured in this column the 160 out-of-school youths (OSYs) in Davao del Norte who are undergoing training in natural farming in tandem with the traditional 3Rs and good manners and right conduct.
The good news is that a similar program will soon be launched in Luzon wherein out-of-schools youths from Regions 1 to 4 will be enrolled for three months at the Costales Nature Farms in Majayjay, Laguna.
A total of 80 OSYs from Northern Luzon, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and Southern Luzon will start their three-month in-house training on July 16 up to September 15. The training is being financed by the Agricultural Training Institute of the Department of Agriculture.
The OSYs have been selected and recommended by the ATI regional directors, a total of 20 from each region. The training of the OSYs is considered a wise investment. With their literacy and mastery of the organic farming techniques, the trainees could become better members of society who are at the same time economically productive. Without the training, they could be liabilities in society.
The hope is that after the training, they will start their own organic farming projects in their communities. After the training, the OSYs will already know how to raise organic pigs, organic chicken, organic vegetables, production of organic fertilizer, formulation of feeds, and preparing organic concoctions and plant extracts for growing plants and farm animals.
Depending on their proficiency, the trainees may be given certificate of competency in organic or natural farming by the Aces Natural Farming Institute.. Those who pass the assessment could command a higher salary when they are employed either by the private sector or by the government. Many farm owners who are professionals and who cannot attend to their farms full time are looking for competent farm workers. These OSYs who trained under the ATI program could be good candidates for employment by these farm owners.
During their training, the OSYs will be provided their food, lodging and basic items like soap, toothbrush and the like. The academic aspect, i.e., teaching the 3Rs and good manners and right conduct will be provided by the Aces Polytechnic Colleges of Dr. Frank dela Peña who is cooperating with Costales.
INTERNATIONAL SEMINARS – By the way, Ronald Costales has informed us that he got the agreement from the Department of Foreign Affairs for him to conduct international seminars on organic agriculture and agritourism starting July 9 up to July 20. This will be a yearly undertaking.
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