From IDLE to IDEAL: Making Agriculture More Relevant and Accessible for All

Nowadays, many people rarely think about agriculture. When you are living in a “concrete jungle” surrounded by steel, glass, and the aforementioned concrete, and when good food is so easily accessible, your mind doesn’t really stray towards thoughts of how difficult food production really is. For most “city folk,” agriculture is nothing more than a political ad, or perhaps a game on their smartphones.

However, the agricultural sector in the Philippines is a sector in our country that needs help in becoming more modernized and current, thus become more relevant for today’s youth. As Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said, “Farming should be made sexy again to younger Filipinos just like Farmville in your Facebook – colorful, sexy, and rewarding.” He emphasizes youth involvement, as well as updating and upgrading the existing agricultural technology in the Philippines.

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The challenge, therefore, is removing both that stigma where there is no “future” or “career” in agriculture, as well as creating a tangible link to the lives of the Filipinos.

In answer to this challenge, three enterprising graduates from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños took it upon themselves to enter the Global Forum on Agricultural Research contest wherein aspiring agri-entrepreneurs from all over the world can compete to get agricultural projects funded. Ten winners will be chosen and be given seed money to help realize their agricultural dreams.

Let us meet these three young agriculturists, and get to know their projects a little.

Dax Olfindo

DAX

As a horticulture graduate, Dax has a vision: a vision of the Philippines where the youth can help work together to produce food, to utilize the use of land for agricultural purposes, and ultimately secure food production in the Philippines.

In his proposal “Idle to Ideal,” Dax proposes a system where Philippine natural land resources can be used for food production, and how the youth can help make this dream happen.

Check out Dax’s proposal here: IDLE to IDEAL: Changing Philippine Agriculture

Jax Macaspac

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This entomologist understands the need for an effective solution to pest management. Did you know the insects cause billions of pesos every year in damages and loss of produce? Image how much more food and revenue the Philippines could have if pests could be controlled more effectively!

Jax proposes a simple and affordable solution that can help farmers not only from the Philippines but from around the world. If you’ve ever experienced insects in your stored, dry food items, you would know how much damage they can cause. This is a great machine that can help farmers reduce that damage. Imagine a machine remove all those pesky bugs, leaving behind clean and pure produce. That’s the MPReS (Mechanical Pest Removal System) device.

Check out Jax’s proposal here: The MPReS Device for Easy Pest Removal

Jorge Dominguez

JORGE

If you love eating chicken, or you’ve always wanted to try our own native chicken, then you’re going to love Jorge’s proposal! This animal scientist dreams of a future where our native chicken is used for both meat and eggs, and the Filipinos will be able to appreciate the rich heritage and natural resources that we have.

Why native chickens, you ask? Compared to commercial breeds, our native chickens are easier to care for, are more resistant to pests and disease, and produce much tastier meat and eggs!

If this is a project that you want to sink your teeth into, check out Jorge’s proposal here: Native Chicken Production in the Philippines

Do you want to help transform the IDLE into the IDEAL? Are you MPReS’d? Or do you just want to get your hands on some native friend chicken in the future? You could help make these proposals a reality!

Simply click on those links, and leave a comment, and share with your friends with the hashtag #GCARD3! Your comments and shares will go a long way in helping these three get into the finals. Help get the word out, and let’s help these three agripreneurs make their dreams a reality.

These three young agriculturists are not the only young agriculturists in the country who want to make a difference. Check out more young agricultural scientists here!






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