THE DAVAO City Agriculturist Office (CAO) has launched two programs tapping social media to increase interest in agriculture among the young.
The DC AgriXchange platform, which uses Facebook (www.facebook.com/groups/399597173812721/), serves as a direct virtual trading portal for growers and buyers.
“We have more than 500 members online and we are encouraging farmers and potential buyers to take advantage of the online platform by joining the group,” CAO chief Leo Bryan D. Leuterio said in a statement.
“This is part of our effort to provide a meeting place for farmers and potential buyers, where they can negotiate without the need for middlemen,” he added.
Mr. Leuterio said CAO has assigned agricultural technologists in various districts to assist farmers “who are not so technology-savvy, in posting their products.”
Through AgriXchange, producers can promote their goods, negotiate prices, and accept pre-orders from buyers based on target harvest schedules.
The online shop is also complemented by the weekly Organic Market at the Rizal Park in front of the City Hall.
“Producers and consumers can meet up during Thursdays and Fridays at the Organic Market at the Rizal Park,” CAO said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Leuterio said the CAO is organizing young people in agricultural communities to work with and learn from the Agribiz Youth Club of Davao under various schools offering agriculture and business management courses.
“The name of the group is Agribeshies, they are composed of the youth sector in the agricultural communities. They will work together with the Agriculture clubs of the schools to further enhance their knowledge of agriculture,” he said.
The group will identify an agricultural project for development while the CAO will provide support such as funding and monitoring to ensure sustainability.
“The Agribiz students have the know-how in terms of the science of agriculture. This will be good training and exposure for the youth,” he said.
On May 30, the CAO will sign a partnership agreement for the Agribeshies project with the University of Southeastern Philippines, Ateneo de Davao University, University of the Philippines, and several other institutions. — Marifi S. Jara