USDA PhilCAFE Project Encourages Youth Engagement in Agriculture
In the Philippines, the average age of a farmer is 56 years old. Many government institutions in the country are aware of this fact and the need to attract more young people to the agriculture sector to ensure growth and stability.
The Philippine Coffee Advancement and Farm Enterprise (PhilCAFE) project, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture and implemented by ACDI/VOCA and its partners the Coffee Quality Institute and World Coffee Research, aims to engage more youth in farming.
Partnering with Cooperatives to Engage High School Youth in Agribusiness
Students at the New Leyte High School in Davao City formed their own 4-H Club, a U.S.-based network of youth organizations whose mission is help youth reach their fullest potential. The New Leyte Producers Cooperative, which partners with ACDI/VOCA through the PhilCAFE project, began working with the students by offering farming internships and mentorships.
These students have the chance to get hands-on at the cooperative’s nursery business and help manage its budwood garden. The cooperative also taught students good agricultural practices in grafting, pruning, farm planning, and post-harvest handling. ACDI/VOCA provided then with additional learning in organizational development through a series of Sell More For More trainings. Sell More For More is one of ACDI/VOCA’s Signature Tools that helps cooperative farmers develop marketing plans and meet buyers’ demands.
By leveraging the New Leyte Producers Cooperative’s agribusiness as a school activity, the PhilCAFE project has helped students earn as they learn. In 2018, their school won an award for having the “Most Outstanding Youth Organization.”
Developing Coffee Production Curriculum for K–12
The PhilCAFE project is also developing curriculum focused on coffee production with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Wangan National Agricultural School. This new curriculum will be part of the national certificates (NC) of skills — in the form of NC1, NC2, and NC3 — for both TESDA and K–12 students to help them acquire marketable skills in agriculture.
Teaching University Students How to Cup Coffee
This month, the PhilCAFE project signed an agreement with Sultan Kudarat State University to focus on coffee research and extension to encourage more agriculture students to engage in coffee production. The Department of Trade and Industry provided a coffee cupping laboratory as a regional shared service facility. The PhilCAFE project will provide technical support so that the university’s hotel and restaurant management students can learn how to cup and receive coffee barista training.
Learn more about the Philippine Coffee Advancement and Farm Enterprise (PhilCAFE) project.
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