By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Sen. Grace Poe backed the Department of Agriculture’s Binhi ng Pag-asa
(BNP) program that aims to empower the youth to become competent
agripreneurs by providing capacity-building workshops and equipping
participants with agricultural start-up kits.
The program that was launched on June 30 aims to reach 1,855
beneficiaries across 115 cities and municipalities nationwide. The
word “Binhi” in BNP means seedling that is primarily essential to
produce food like grains where rice is a staple in every Filipino
“With the aging population of farmers, we need to immerse the youth
in agriculture and inspire them to become the next generation of
farmers” said Poe.
According to World Bank data, there has been a steady decline in the
number of Filipinos employed in the agriculture sector from 37.11
percent in 2000 to 22.86 percent in 2019.
“Kung wala nang gustong magbungkal ng lupa sa kabataan, ano pa ang
kakainin ng mga susunod na henerasyon?” said Poe.
The program was first rolled out in 2017 where lush organic farms have
since become the BNP’s success story. One of them is a Cebuano scholar
who started with a pair of native chickens and hogs from the program
and has now ventured into his own poultry business that he
complemented with vegetable farming.
This year, the BNP will be implemented in the municipalities of Nueva
Ecija, Albay, Camarines Sur, Aklan, and Davao de Oro. Provincial
training will commence on July 27 and conclude with a summit in the
first week of November.
Poe previously filed Senate Bill No. 127 or the “Tulong Kabataan sa
Agrikultura Act of 2019” seeks to provide scholarship assistance
and allowances to students who will take courses in agriculture,
fisheries, forestry, and related areas to increase youth participation
in the agricultural sector. (AI/MTVN)