Agricultural and fishery schools of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority nationwide will soon produce rice and other agricultural crops, livestock, and aquatic products in “commercial quantities” to contribute to the country’s food security.
This was agreed by the 27 agri-fishery school administrators and officials of TESDA technology institutions who gathered for two days last week in Manila for a special meeting on food production upon the direction of Secretary Augusto Boboy Syjuco, TESDA director general.
The meeting focused on the discussion of the respective food production plans of each of the TESDA’s technology institutions.
Syjuco convened the meeting in response to the call of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to utilize all tillable lands to ensure food security and sufficiency.
“The TESDA as a government institution will contribute to our country’s food security. We have to tap and maximize the use of existing resources and harness our own expertise in increasing food production,” Secretary Syjuco said.
According to Secretary Syjuco, TESDA technical institutions own a combined land area of 2,000 hectares which can be used for agri-fishery production.
At present, these technology institutions use their land resources as training laboratories and experimental facilities for various agri-fishery courses. TESDA has 125 technology institutions all over the country.
“We have to increase our production of agricultural crops, livestock, and aquatic products to contribute to national effort of averting food shortage in the country,” Pastor Guiao, TESDA deputy director general for community and local government units services, exhorted the agri-fishery schools chiefs.
Two food production plans that elicited interest during the meeting were the proposed cultivation of dragon fruit and the utilization of vermi composting technology to produce organic fertilizers.
While the agri-fishery schools chiefs noted that increasing food production in their respective schools would require funds for new equipment, support infrastructure, and other inputs, they agreed that implementing their food production plans as soon as possible will generate income for their schools, their students and their communities.
“In the long-term, increasing food production will be good for our country,” they said.