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Agri graduates to get lands from DAR: exec

Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones said agriculture is the last frontier of survival, most especially when there is a pandemic* Adrian Onden/DA 6 photo

The Department of Agrarian Reform is ready to give those who will graduate with a degree in agriculture a maximum of three hectares of land.

DAR Secretary John Castriciones, during the ‘Buhay sa Gulay’ urban farming program launch in Quezon City, said this is to help revive the interest in agriculture among young Filipinos.

“Another program of the agrarian reform for those interested agriculture graduates is that we are ready to give them at least three hectares of land for each agriculture graduates. This is to make the people love farming again,” Castriciones said.

He said the incentive seeks to encourage the youth, who are about to enter college, to choose agriculture as their courses and for the parents to suggest taking them up.

He said the incentive is among the provisions of Republic Act 6657, or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law that was approved in 1988.

Castriciones said he does not know why this has not been implemented and that this is the first time that the DAR is giving such an incentive.

“This has not been implemented since being approved and that this is the first time under this administration and all interested agriculture graduate may be given a maximum of three hectares, we have already identified the areas,” he said.

Castriciones said they are set to distribute about 20 hectares of land to some agriculture graduates from the Cagayan State University by the end of January.

He added that there are also about 50-hectare of land in Palawan to be awarded to agriculture graduates.

“These are what we call government-owned lands that will be awarded for free to our graduates of agriculture courses,” Castriciones said.

He said he believes that agriculture is the last frontier of survival, most especially in times like these when there is a pandemic.

He said the country has agriculture graduates but if they do not have lands to till and apply their knowledge, then it is useless.

He added that many people, even farmers themselves, have lost interest in farming and agriculture and do not even encourage their children to follow their path, but he said that incentivizing them would help.

The agriculture sector is the weakest in the country now, he said.

He added that most people look down on farmers, whose works should be appreciated most especially during the pandemic.

He said agriculture graduates would contribute a lot to improving the technology for modern farming.

He added that the knowledge that they have acquired may be passed on to more farmers that will eventually benefit the country’s economy and ensure food security. To qualify for the program, Castriciones said one should be a graduate of a four-year agriculture course and that he or she has the interest to till and make the land productive and does not intend to abandon or sell it.*PNA

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