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University shows how to inspire young ones to take up agriculture

By Keren Bernadas

AGRICULTURE farming are vital for the economic growth of Camarines Sur, providing livelihoods, food, and supporting exports. However, negative perceptions and lack of awareness about the sector's importance have led to a decline in the number of young people pursuing careers in agriculture.

To help change the negative perception, the Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA) has developed the five-hectare “CBSUA Agriville and Learning Hub” inside its campus. This learning site showcases the latest agricultural technology advancements that promise to revolutionize farming.

During the “Bicolano Farmers Festival and Agri-Summit” in Pili, Camarines Sur, the CBSUA Agriville and Learning Hub reaped praises from the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Tourism (DOT).

In a message delivered for him by Bicol Regional Executive Director Rodel Tornilla during the event, Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. commended the administration of CBSUA for serving as a role model among academic institutions in helping younger generations become professionals in agricultural sciences.

“The CBSUA Agriville and Learning Hub will entice more youths to engage in agriculture,” Laurel said.

On the other hand, DOT Regional Director Herbie Aguas hailed the university-based agricultural tourism site as a “great indicator that farm tourism operators are thriving in the region.”

“We highly encourage them to let their farm site contribute to tourism development in their place,” Aguas said.

“The DOT is ready to provide technical assistance to farm tourism owners to improve their branding and services, as well as capacitate their tourism skills,” Aguas said.

Aguas added that through this activity, the current generation, especially students studying agricultural-related courses, will become aware of the innovations, support, and significance provided by the national government and other key stakeholders in supporting tourism projects at the local level.

Along with the five-hectare Agriville and Learning Hub, other agricultural facilities include the Farmers’ Bayanihan and Training Center, and Technology Business Incubation Building.

The Bicol Learning Sites Association Top 555 Program was also launched.

CBSUA president Alberto Napera said the most important aspect of the CBSUA agri-tourism center was the combined influence and impact of academics, agriculture, and tourism to make them more attractive.

Napera said that the accreditation provided to the CBSUA by the DA and DOT would allow them to forge partnerships to foster its projects in the future and comply with regulations. (PIA5/Camarines Sur)


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