/ 29 July 2022

THE HEAD of the Cordillera Administrative Region’s Regional Agricultural and Fishery Council called on the youth to get involved in agriculture and help craft policies to improve and modernize the sector.

RAFC Chairperson Ryan Palunan said that the youth can use their creativity and idealism to participate in drafting policies and recommendations that will benefit farmers.

Palunan, the youngest RAFC chairperson in the history of the Agriculture and Fishery Councils, will help craft resolutions and recommendations that will guide the Department of Agriculture on budget allocation, prioritization of programs/activities/projects, and solve issues and concerns of the industry stakeholders.

The 25-year-old farmer from Baguio City was appointed in March as RAFC chairperson of the Cordillera Administrative Region’s Regional AFC in 2022.

Palunan said that being part of the RAFC allows him to be an ambassador in his own locality.

He believes that agriculture is also for the youth, and that the youth is the future of the sector. He added that agriculture should not just be about producing, but also about value adding and creating a market of your own.

The young farmer-leader said it is high-time for the youth to participate, engage with farmers, sit with them and discuss the problems encountered on the ground in order to craft better policies.

“Ang naging taglay natin as youth is being idealistic. We voice out what we feel, but when we think of other things like agriculture, do we also voice it out? Like the problems of the farmers, sana may nakakarinig ng problema nila and translate it into policies,” Palunan said.

“I am young, inexperienced, and looking at the people around here, they have established farms and big agri-businesses. Naliliitan ako sa sarili ko. But when I look at the positive side, nasasabi ko sa sarili ko na one day, magiging gano’n din ako,” Palunan noted.

Apart from empowering the youth, Palunan also recommended the promotion of active participation of farmer-groups in project development, preservation and integration of Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices in agriculture, promotion of urban agriculture, and research and development.