Integrating gender and youth

Youth and teachers embrace climate-smart agriculture in the Philippines

Southeast Asia
Climate-Smart Technologies and Practices
Gender and Social Inclusion

CCAFS and partner Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) collaborated on a nation-wide Infomediary Campaign that mobilizes high school students and teachers to share information – serving as “infomediaries” – on climate-smart agriculture for rice (CSA4Rice) in their communities.

Infomediary Campaign Teaser.

The campaign engages students through a “read, surf and text” strategy. Students are taught the basics of rice farming and climate change with the help of printed reading materials, and shown how to access information platforms such as the Pinoy Rice Knowledge Bank to get agricultural information that they can pass on to the larger farming communities. In addition, students can access a text center or SMS facility, where they can send questions and receive answers on a variety of topics. In 2016, the PhilRice Text Center received over 2,000 text messages for information requests on issues such as rice varieties, seed availability and pest management.

“At first, my father would just nod at me when I tell him about our topics on rice production. Nevertheless, I persisted in sharing my lessons learned. It was when we experienced losses in the farm that he tried to apply what he heard from me.” Zoila Gracilla, a 15-year old Grade 10 pupils of Corazon C. Aquino High School in Gerona, Tarlac

At the same time, teachers attend expert lectures and field tours and are taught how to integrate PhilRice’s various information and social media platforms on CSA4Rice into their curricula.

“Our teachers learned a lot; they were able to upgrade their knowledge and skills [on climate-smart rice agriculture]. This is also true among students and their farmer-parents”. Dr. Perpetua M. Eslava, Principal, Luna National Vocational High School, La Union.

The project is now implemented in 208 high schools (including 81 vocational schools), and 225 teachers have been trained. The campaign directly involved about 9,000 students, and indirectly reached 225,000 students nationwide through various school activities. Many teachers have also s conducted community outreach activities such as technology seminars for farmers.

Source: https://ccafs.cgiar.org/blog/schools-nuclei-climate-change-information

An unintended (but welcome) result is that the campaign contributed to the increase in agriculture-related modules among participating schools and a 71% increase in enrollment in agriculture-related tracks among randomly monitored schools. The project is helping to promote agriculture as a viable career option.

We should have the mindset that the youth is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to ensuring a food secure future for generations to come. And this would require the brightest minds in agriculture from the youth sector.” Mr. Manalo, Jaime Manalo IV, PhilRice senior research specialist.

Partners

  • PhilRice
  • Government of the Philippines: Department of Education, Climate Change Commission