February 16, 2024

Continuing its commitment to upskilling rice farmers, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is set to train over 52,000 rice farmers and their dependents in the country under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund – Rice Extension Services Program (RCEF-RESP) scholarship program.

TESDA Director General, Secretary Suharto T. Mangudadatu, said that the agency has prioritized its agriculture courses because he believes that improving the skills of the nation's farm workers will undoubtedly aid in achieving food security and sufficiency.

"We have always given focus on the agriculture industry in our scholarship offerings, and we will keep collaborating with public and private organizations to give our rice farmers access to skills development and employment possibilities,” the TESDA Secretary emphasized.

The TESDA Chief also noted that this initiative is part of the national government’s efforts to strengthen the country’s agriculture sector, particularly in rice production.

It can be recalled that the President, Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., during the ceremonial palay harvesting and distribution of various assistance in Candaba, Pampanga last February 3, vowed a revitalized agriculture sector where farmers are equipped with modern agricultural knowledge and sufficient support from the government.

“Ang ating pagtutulungan na mapaunlad ang ating sektor ng agrikultura ay isa lamang sa mga pangunahing hakbang tungo sa pagbuo ng isang Bagong Pilipinas – kung saan walang nagugutom at lahat ay masigabong kumikilos para sa mas masaganang kinabukasan,” President Marcos said.

Under the Rice Liberalization Act, TESDA was tasked to provide training to rice farmers in the country under its extension services program, along with the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), Philippine Center for Post-Harvest Development Mechanization (PhilMech) and the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI).  

In September 2019, the agency released the implementing guidelines for the RESP, which will be implemented by its provincial and regional offices.

Under RCEF-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).

From 2020 to 2023, TESDA has trained a total of 174,296 rice farmers nationwide.

Meanwhile, the Secretary urged the rice farmers in the country to take this opportunity to learn the new and better way of farming with the aid of science and technology.

“There are new developments in science and technology that our farmers can learn to help them increase their yield and reduce their cost. I am very optimistic that it is through these advancements that we can help the nation attain food security. I encourage all our rice farmers and their dependents across the country to take advantage and avail of our training programs under the RCEF-RESP," Secretary Mangudadatu said.

Responsive image