The Philippines, no matter how it sashays with the title, “The Rising Tiger of Asia, will always have its share of triumphs and mishaps. Ironically, the Philippines which is a dominantly agricultural country seems to deviate from the past to join its foreign industrial counterparts. This, in its accumulated entirety, adds significant destruction to the environment that upholsters a basic need for survival- food production.
The youth must go back to its agricultural roots. These are the same roots that have been used from a millennia before us and will be used by a millennia after this. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), 10 million male and 9.5 million female account for the 19.16% of the Philippine population. These fall under the umbrella of 15 year-olds to 24 year-olds. The same age that generation Y or millennials are placed. Majority of them have the implication n that agriculture as a course is not viable. Dr. Jesusita Codilla from the University of the Philippines said that the number of enrollees in agricultural courses dropped from 51% in 1980, 43% in 1995 and a staggering 4.7% in 2012. This poses a serious threat to the future of the generations to come.
Without fully accepting the concepts of a problem, there will be no path to a solution. One of the problems in sustainable agriculture and the environment is the lack of the environment itself. Agricultural plots that account for 9.6 million hectares are steadily dwindling. What will there be to protect if one protects nothing? Ironically, the Philippines, in its glory of its intense biodiversity hotspot, seeks to not utilize its abundant land to cater industrialization. This, in turn, roots from the materialistic cultural values of Filipinos. The lack of interest of the millennial generation becomes socially unhealthy as teenagers glue their faces to their gadgets all day. According to Innovative Training Works Inc. out of 100 Filipinos, all have cellular phones and approximately seven of them have two leading to the notion that agriculture isn’t what they follow on social media.
By acknowledging these problems, one may pave a way for solutions. The tantalizing questions- why should we turn to a Clean and Green environment through sustainable agriculture? A sustainable agriculture reduces cost efficiency and maximizes waste efficiency. It produces more output with limited input and lessens waste efficiently. The pioneers for the fight against climate change such as China upholds the future generations as it becomes a double blade sword for economic efficiency, food efficiency, cost efficiency and waste management. A sustainable agriculture fosters a clean and green environment by being the champion for nature’s preservation. An 11% total Gross Domestic Product according to PSA is also rooted in agricultural terms. By utilizing this, the Philippines will emerge victorious as agents of change and for future generations.
There needs a plan for a goal to be achieved. In backcasting, one needs to set a goal in the future, move backward from the future to the present and take the necessary steps to reach for that future. Here are possible ways: 1.) the implementation of Basic Agricultural Curriculum in practical setting to boost interest and knowledge. 2.) encourage the youth to enroll in agricultural classes. 3.) expose the children to the simple life in the country to awaken the love for nature and 4.) government cooperation.
The implementation of the Agricultural Curriculum serves beneficial for students to get a glimpse of the Wonders of Sustaining Agriculture. If interests are boosted there will be more experts. More experts mean more researchers. More researches mean an opportunity for more agricultural practices in ethic ways.
Students need to break the stigma that agriculture will let one end up plowing in the field in the scorching heat of the sun for that is not the case. Agriculture in Uganda was improved drastically by saving 190,000 farmers by creating an app called U-Research that leads people for their donations, alleviating poverty in the process.
Finally, the government needs to be the centralized figure to which all decisions must be asserted. Agricultural Secretary Manny Pinol stated that there is a 3.6 trillion budget for agriculture. This, along with the coordinated efforts of the masses can be a lethal killer to poverty and insufficiency.
By breaking from the chains of materialism, the Philippines cannot let go of its ambitious industrial dream to focus on the resources at hand. Through the efforts of the masses and the strong work force of agriculturists, the nation can tread onward to a wholesome interconnectivity that unifies all.
After all, people love food and food must learn to love people in return.