Younger farmers eyed as gov’t pushes for digitalized rice sector – Marcos

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 31) — The national government is eyeing to bring down the average age of Filipino farmers as it encourages young people to get into farming in line with the plan to digitalize the rice sector, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Wednesday.

"Napag-usapan din natin [We also discussed], speaking of new technologies, is bringing down the average age of Filipino farmers," Marcos told reporters after presiding over the Rice Industry Convergence Meeting at the National Irrigation Administration headquarters in Quezon City.

"To do that, we engage them with new technologies because they will be the ones who will operate those new technological systems and that will make it interesting for young people to come into this sector," he added.

According to the United States Agency for International Development, the average age of Filipino farmers is from 55 to 59 years old.

Marcos, who also acts as Agriculture secretary, earlier expressed support for the creation of a digital farmer registry and food balance sheets for food security.

House lawmakers have also filed bills that would encourage the youth to consider a career in agriculture.

Tarlac Rep. Jaime Eduardo Cojuangco has proposed a measure seeking to include agricultural lessons in the primary and secondary education curriculum.

Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte was one of the authors of a bill seeking to provide subsidies to children of qualified indigent farmers who will pursue a degree program related to agriculture in state universities and colleges.