/ 10 March 2023

MORE than 50,000 rice farmers and their dependents finished various agriculture-related training programs under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority’s Rice Extension Services Program last year.

TESDA Director General Danilo Cruz said that 53,221 rice farmers and their dependents benefitted from the agency’s programs and initiatives.

Region VIII produced the greatest number, with 6,056 graduates. It was followed by Regions III and VI with 5,263 and 4,797 graduates, respectively.

TESDA trains rice farmers in line with the implementation of Republic Act 11203, or the Rice Liberalization Act.

TESDA spokesperson Deputy Director General Aniceto Bertiz III said that the agency offers various courses under the RESP.

These are 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.

Cruz said that the agency has prioritized its agriculture courses because it believes that upskilling farmworkers will help the country achieve food security.

“We’ve always prioritized the agriculture sector in our scholarship programs. We’ll continue to work with other government and private entities for strengthening the sector and for the provision of skills training and livelihood opportunities for our rice farmers,” he said.