Scores of farmer-beneficiaries from Quezon and Batangas are now covered under the skills enhancement scholarship program, which was jointly forged through a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
Director Cleon Lester Chavez of DAR Public Assistance and Media Relations Service said the MOA recently signed by DAR Secretary John Castriciones and TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña is aimed to provide farmer-beneficiaries and their dependents off-farm business skills to augment their family income.
Entrepreneurial courses in baking, dressmaking, coffee-making (barista), and automotive mechanic among the technical and vocational courses, are available.
“Providing our farmer-beneficiaries skill-enhancement trainings is a big step towards alleviating rural poverty and ensuring food security in the country,” Castriciones said.
He noted the DAR and the TESDA have agreed to offer scholarship grants to 3,150 farmer-beneficiaries and dependents. So far, 1,600 scholars have been endorsed to regional offices of TESDA for enrollment.
The DAR chief said the partnership “is very significant in uplifting the standards of living of the farmer-beneficiaries, who are close to the heart of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.”
DAR presented studies, which revealed that 70 percent of the poorest of the poor lives in the rural areas, most of them are farmers and fishermen.
“This is a big challenge that we need to address,” Lapeña said. “Through this scholarship program, every member of the farming family can contribute in uplifting the rural economy and spurring rural development.” (PR)