THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said it has signed an agreement with the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) to offer training in urban agriculture, rice farming and livestock and poultry raising.

The initial areas of joint training were announced as part of a broader food-security effort with parts of the country less than a week away from transitioning to less-restrictive forms of quarantine.

“Our farmers need a complete package of support and technical assistance to enable them to produce more. In this regard, we welcome the TESDA as a partner as together we confront the ‘new normal’ environment as a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic,” Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said in a statement Monday.

Mr. Dar and TESDA Director-General Isidro S. Lapeña reached the agreement recently to jointly design the coursework.

“Agriculture has been our top priority. Our training institutions are directed to prioritize the agri-sector in allocating budget for their skills training. In this time of pandemic, we are now seeing the importance of food security. We can utilize both big and small spaces to plant vegetables,” Mr. Lapeña said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave