/ 9 February 2022

MORE than 38,000 farmers and their dependents nationwide completed various trainings on Rice Extension Services Program in 2021, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority said.

TESDA, under the RESP cluster, taught farmers and their dependents skills on rice crop production, modern rice farming techniques, seed production, farm mechanization, and knowledge/ technology transfer.

Based on the skills agency data, 26,898 completed training on Farmers Field School on Production of High-Quality Inbred Rice and Seed Certification, and Farm Mechanization; 4,008 on Service Motorcycle/ Small Engine System (Leading to Motorcycle/ Small Engine Servicing NC II; 3,628 on Rice Machinery Operations NC II; 3,448 on Bookkeeping NC III; 511 on Agroentrepreneurship NC II; and 24 on Drying and Milling Plant Servicing NC III.

The scholars received a P160 daily allowance and free training and assessment, including entrepreneurship training and insurance.

Meanwhile, TESDA plans to add two more qualifications under the RESP this year.

These are Digital Agriculture Course and Pest and Nutrient Management. The agency is also considering opening over 50,000 scholarship slots under RESP for 2022.

Lapeña vowed that TESDA will continue to prioritize the upskilling of farmers and their dependents.

“TESDA is actively pursuing agriculture programs nationwide. Food sufficiency is a concern not only of the country’s agriculture areas and rice producing regions. This a cause of concern of all areas, including urbanized cities,” the TESDA chief said.

“We will continue to work with other government agencies and the private sector to continue giving training and employment opportunities to our rice farmers,” he added.