BACOLOD CITY: Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. has called on the youth of Negros Island to go into agriculture because of its “huge potential.”
“If they [Negros youth] love agriculture, if they love farming, it will become a habit,” Marañon said during the recently concluded Negros Island Organic Farmers Festival here.
He observed that young professionals now prefer blue-collar jobs.
“They want to wear ties, to work in air-conditioned offices and, after their work, they go to bars to drink,” the governor said.
He added that there are only “very few” young people who engage in agriculture.
“There is so much potential in agriculture, especially in the Philippine situation because the Philippines is an agricultural country,” the governor pointed out.
The country, he said, has lots of endemic plants, animals and resources and it’s “very easy to produce” in the Philippines.
During the same event, Marañon cited the need for Negros Island farmers to practice organic farming so that the two-province island can earn the title “Organic Food Bowl of Asia.”
He said there is a huge demand for organic agricultural products globally.
Supply of these products, however, cannot cope with the surging worldwide demand, according to the governor.
In the Philippines, the number of organic farmers has increased 20 percent, data from the Department of Agriculture showed.
EUGENE Y. ADIONG