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Not too young for modern agriculture.

To fulfill youth`s role as infomediaries or searching information for their parents, a three-day training course on farm machinery operations and PalayCheck System were recently conducted to students and teachers. PalayCheck is an integrated crop management system for rice.

The 28 students are under the K-12 modeling program with agriculture as course at Balagtas National High School in Bulacan. Four teachers also attended the training, Nov. 27-29.

Jaime Manalo IV, lead of the Infomediary Campaign at the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), said that after the training, he hopes that the students will be more effective in gathering and imparting information for their parents as they now have more knowledge on agriculture and practical know-how on farm machine operations.

The students, about 18 years old, learned about the basic engine operation, principles, and safety tips on farm machine operation and farm mechanization in the Philippines.

Following their lectures, the participants had their hands-on two-wheel hand tractor and four-wheel tractor driving with obstacles.

“This training absolutely drives the students to apply the theoretical knowledge they have learned in their school,” Richard Bernabe, head teacher, said.

Other than enhancing their skills on becoming infomediaries, some students view the training as preparation for agriculture-related jobs.

“I only see the farm machines in pictures during our lectures in our school. Now that I experienced driving them, this could be one of my assets in my future job,” student Blanca Tenedero said.

The participants were also toured to PhilMech and the Rice Engineering division of PhilRice, where they explored the operations of farm machinery and other rice farming technologies and viewed mechanical transplanting and combine harvester demonstrations.

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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