Press Release
February 23, 2021


BEING true to her commitment, the COVID-19 pandemic has not stopped Sen. Cynthia Villar in helping uplift the lives of Filipino farmers by providing them trainings on modern farm technology to boost their productivity, harvests and income.

The senator, chairperson of the Senate committee on Agriculture and Food, has been continuing her projects and programs that benefited our farmers who belong to the "poorest among the poor."

As a result, these training also gives benefit to the agriculture industry which has also been adversely affected by the health crisis, not only in the country, but the whole world.

Through the Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance), the senator has been providing free training sessions on agricultural-related courses to farmer-trainers and other stakeholders in this sector.

Last February 17-19, the Villar SIPAG sponsored a training on agricultural crops productions at its Villar SIPAG Farm School in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. The 25 participants came from the provinces of Pangasinan, Bataan, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac and Nueva Ecija.

The three-day training program of trainers on agricrops production was conducted in coordination with the East West Seeds Foundation.

The Villar SIPAG also gave the same Training of Trainers on Agricrops Production with EastWest Seeds Foundation last Feb. 10-12.

The training held at Villar SIPAG Farm School in the boundary of Bacoor, Cavite and Las Pinas was attended by 25 participants from the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) area and the Bicol region.

Villar had built farm schools that give free trainings on new farming technology to the participants, who were expected to train farmers when they returned to their respective towns after graduating from the Villar Farm School.

"Our farm schools have a special role in our objective to make our farmers and fisherfolk competitive and profitable through training programs that will help them produce more and earn more with the help of modern technology," noted Villar.

But with the pandemic, all participants in the training sessions were told to strictly adhere to the health protocols imposed by the Department of Health (DOH) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The wearing of face masks and face shields, handwashing and social distancing were observed at all times in the duration of the trainings.

Also, fewer participants were accommodated and the young people, the elderly, and those with health issues are discouraged from participating in the program.

The Villar SIPAG Farm Schools provide free training opportunities to farmers in cooperation with other agencies such as the Farm Business School with the ATI; Rice Seeds Production and Mechanization with PhilRice and PhilMech; Aquaculture Production with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources; Livestock Production with the Bureau of Animal Industry; and cacao production intercropping with coconut with the Philippine Coconut Authority.

The growth of farm schools all over the country was attributed to two pieces of legislation that Villar principally authored: Republic Act 10816 or the Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016, which encourages the conversion of farms into tourist farms and learning sites; and Republic Act 11203 or the law that created the P10-billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund which mandated a special role for farm schools as venues of extension services program.

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