Press Release
May 29, 2018

Villar calls the youth "poverty busters"

The youth has one of the highest potentials in breaking the cycle of inter-generational poverty, said Senator Cynthia A. Villar, as she acknowledged their interest in the agriculture, where majority of poor Filipinos can be found.

Speaking during the celebration of Agriculture Day 2018 of the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University-North La Union Campus (DMMMSU-NLUC) College of Agriculture, Villar recognized the huge role of the youth in the country's growth and development.

She said it is very crucial for us to keep the involvement of Filipino youth comprising 27 percent or about 27 million of the Philippine population.

"We need collaborated efforts and the participation of our youth to end the passing of poverty to the next generation especially in the agricultural sector since the farmers and fishermen belong to the poorest sector in the Philippines," said Villar, chair of the Senate agriculture and food committee.

Conceding that we may still have a long way to go to completely eradicate poverty, Villar however believes it can be reduced until finally it will no longer be experienced by the next generation.

"It is a must that the youth will be directly and actively involved as early as now. You are the poverty-busters. So please help us stop poverty," she further told agriculture students.

The senator mentioned concerns raised by some sectors that Filipino farmers are getting older (with average of 57-58), thus, "we need to get the young generation interested in agriculture."

"So, I am happy that here at DMMMSU-NLUC and other campuses of universities, our youth are very much involved in farming and agriculture," she said.

Also, the senator told the agriculture students that there is so much more to agriculture than merely tilling the land and planting crops.

Saying this is a very limited concept, Villar said the youth should realize that there are a lot of exciting opportunities and untapped potentials in the agriculture sector.

"Now, we are talking of mechanized farming, farm tourism, science and technology, research and development and of course, there is agri-entrepreneurship. I think, that it is one area where many young Filipinos are venturing into," she said.

In trade fairs and exhibits here and abroad, she said many of the participants are 'food-entrepreneurs' which are also under the category of agri-entrepreneurs. She also said half of the micro and small enterprises are involved in the food and beverage sector.

"Moreover, small and micro enterprises comprise over 95 percent of the businesses in our country and provide more than 65 percent of employment. Wealth and a high majority of jobs are created by small businesses started by entrepreneurially-minded individuals or groups of individuals. Many of whom go on to create big businesses. And any of you can do that," added the senator.

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