The Department of Agriculture today urged this year’s high school graduates to enroll in farming and fisheries-related courses.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said more youth participation will make the farming and fisheries sectors more vibrant and robust.

“Today’s graduates will give more life, and a brighter future to farming,” Alcala said.

According to the Secretary, recent figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority show the average age of farmers and fishers to be 43.

“That means a lot of young people are now getting involved in agriculture, and I hope more and more of them will be involved,” Alcala said.

He added, in the baseline survey conducted by the DA’s Philippine Rural Development Plan, the average age of Filipino farmers and fishermen plunged from 57 to 47.

It was also gathered that in Southern Luzon State University, there is a 280 percent increase in enrollment in agriculture related courses.

The Secretary said he is hopeful that the young farmers will embrace today’s technological innovations and mechanization.

“Times have changed.  With modern technologies and the farm mechanization that we have been championing since 2010,

these new farmers will have quite an easier time in the fields, unlike our forefathers who really had to eat by the sweat of their brows,” Alcala said.  (DA-OSEC)