The potential of agriculture is intensified as science and technology advances, an official under the Office of the President said in an activity at the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, Oct. 1.

National Youth Commissioner Percival V. Cendaña urged about 700 high school students during the Institute’s Lakbay-Palay: Astig mag-Agri to consider agriculture as a viable career.

“[Gone were the days when we think of agriculture as a course for the students asked by teachers to go home to plant camote when they don’t perform well academically]. This perception is shifting. Planting camote [or agriculture] requires skill and science. [It’s a technical field needing expertise],” he said.

In the half-day activity, students learn about new machines used in rice farming, new varieties, and information technology support including the Farmers Text Center and Pinoy Rice Knowledge Bank.

Meanwhile, Dr. Jocelyn DR. Andaya, Director III of the Department of Education, said that agriculture provides immediate employment for students whose families have farm after college graduation.

“[You can get more income] in agriculture as long as you equip yourselves with needed knowledge. This is why I commend PhilRice for showing you the potential of agriculture and for bringing you in their experimental fields,” Andaya said.

PhilRice engaged students in agriculture through its Infomediary campaign, which mobilizes youth to seek information for their farmer-parents.

The country’s lead agency on rice science and development also encourage students to take courses that have applications in agriculture such as communication, information technology, biology, sociology, and economics.

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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