Solon bats for agricultural education as part of the school curriculum – Manila Bulletin

Schools will be forced to include “urban agriculture, agricultural entrepreneurship and economics” in their curriculum if the measure proposed by a legislator becomes law.

(Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Agriculture)

House Bill (HB) No. 2072 aims to make the teaching and discussion of agricultural subjects compulsory for inclusion in the curriculum of all primary and secondary schools in the country, according to its author, the representative of Tarlac Jaime Cojuangco.

Cojuangco, a representative from the first district of Tarlac, stressed that it is high time for students to learn “the most scientific way of farming”.

“Let’s get serious about agriculture. Hindi basta tanim ng tanim lang (It is not just about planting)… Knowing how to make money by tilling the land or making it into an entrepreneurial business,” he said in a statement accompanied by a copy of the bill.

“And finally, to be able to elevate the farming profession to a level that can provide for more than the basic necessities of farming families,” Cojuangco added.

Under its bill, the Department of Education (DepEd) must coordinate and consult with various private bodies and institutions in developing the curriculum.

This proposed measure listed government agencies such as the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Recognizing the importance of agriculture and food security, the bill states that agriculture still plays a “major role in the Philippine economy.”

“It employs about 40% of its workers. It contributes about 20% of the gross domestic product. Agricultural products continue to be our main export,” Cojuangco noted.

With this, the Tarlac legislator emphasized the need for a “new breed of farmers” equipped with modern farming technologies so that they can “engage in sustained scientific farming to increase agricultural yields”.

“The irony of this statement should not escape us. It is because farmers from other countries have studied in our specialized agricultural institutions,” he said, referring to the International Institute for Research on rice (IRRI).

“They applied their knowledge in their home countries, which now enjoy greater agricultural productivity. This is when our own agricultural production continues to be low,” he added.

Cojuangco also said the Philippines must be self-sufficient in agricultural and food production to avoid the impact of the food crisis.

“The right way to farm means better productivity and better food security,” he stressed.

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