Search on for top PH farmers | Inquirer Business

Search on for top PH farmers

By: - Business Editor / @tinaarceodumlao
/ 06:09 AM May 20, 2013

MANILA, Philippines—Milagros Ong How, executive vice president of top fertilizer manufacturer and distributor Universal Harvester Inc., says she did not learn about the complex field of agriculture from books or in classrooms.

Rather, she says, she developed her knowledge with the help of the best teachers, the farmers who tirelessly work the land, and fishermen who go out to sea so that Filipinos will have food on their table.

Their knowledge and skills are invaluable, says How. Unfortunately, they do not get enough credit for the vital role that they play in Philippine society.


She says this desire to elevate the status of Filipino farmers made it easy for her to support the program of the Philippine Jaycees (JCI Philippines) to search for outstanding Filipino farmers.


The recognition program is entering its second year, and How says she and JCI Philippines want to identify more of the unsung heroes and, hopefully, encourage more Filipinos, especially the youth, to venture into agriculture.

The search for The Outstanding Farmers of the Philippines (TOFARM) was revived last year to acknowledge the important contribution of the massive agriculture sector to the economy.

The awards also seek to recognize the best among fisherfolk, animal raisers, cooperatives, farm communities, organizations, agriculture scientists, academe, local government units and public employees, as well as private firms in rural and urban areas that contribute to the agriculture sector.

This year, TOFARM Project chairman Rommel Cunanan says an award will go to the country’s best woman farmer to recognize the growing number of women who are making a difference in agriculture.

This is part of an effort to improve the awards program and encourage more people to go into farming.

“This is a really rewarding and lucrative field, and if our young are really the hope of the fatherland, as Dr. Jose Rizal said, they should go into farming to ensure the steady flow of generations who will ensure us adequate and sustainable food supply,” Cunanan says.


The nomination period for Outstanding Farmer candidates began in March and will end in September. Awarding will take place in December. Nominations may be submitted as hard copy or sent online to

How is confident that this year’s awards will generate even more interest than last year’s event.

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“TOFARM 2012 only scratched the surface in identifying farmers with best practices and extraordinary achievements. In TOFARM 2013, we want to explore new territories and discover other achievers who have not yet been recognized for their contributions to our country,” says How.

TAGS: Agriculture, farming, Philippines, search

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