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Dr. Milagros Valles, Director II of the Technical Vocational Unit of the Department of Education (DepEd), told students that farming is a lucrative career if one “knows the how.”

“Wealth is at hand in agriculture if we know the technical know-how and know how to compete in the market,” she said during the 3rd Lakbay-Palay for students hosted by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in Nueva Ecija, March 12.

Encouraging the youth, aged 15 to 18, Valles said that skills and competencies are needed in farming so students must constantly learn from their school`s demonstration farms and help their farmer-parents access new information through the Internet and mobile phones.

With farmers` age averaging 57 and education level reaching only the fifth grade, Valles urged the students to venture in agriculture to sustain development in the country.

“We also hope that you pursue agriculture-related courses. With agriculture as an expertise, you can become teachers, consultants, researchers, communicators, engineers, and more,” she said.

Valles commended PhilRice for engaging the youth in agriculture, which, she said, is a challenge for DepEd with its more than 7,000 schools across the country.

Participated by more than 600 students, PhilRice`s Lakbay-Palay aims to mold a new generation of farm entrepreneurs and research and development workers.

This year`s theme highlighted, Astig mag-agri (It`s cool to be in agriculture), with students meeting the young PhilRice staff and talked with them on the careers and opportunities in agriculture, especially in the rice sector.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute