November 17, 2018

Today, The Outstanding Farmers of the Philippines organized by Universal Harvester, Inc. together with JCI Philippines will hold its annual awards ceremony at the Makati Shangri-La.

This activity is one of my favorites because it  is giving due honor and recognition to our farmers who provide us our daily food, although we tend to take them for granted.

For the past few years, I have been attending TOFARM activities and have met with the farmers and I can see how much they appreciate such awards. TOFARM is an award program recognizing the resiliency, ingenuity, and strength of our hard working Filipino farmers.

The program, says their brochure, is anchored in promoting farming, particularly among the youth sector, in all regions. The search will be inclusive and participative; expanding from public to private sector stakeholders in agriculture, fisheries and livestocks.

The project is open to all Filipino farmers, fisherfolk, animal raisers, cooperatives, farm communities, organizations, education/academe, agriculture scientists, LGUs and public employees and business entities in both rural and urban areas/center.

With the JCIs as partners, the number of awardees have increased through the years and it is indeed a tribute to UHI and their various partners.We really should have more activities recognizing our farmers and fisherfolks.

They are after all always been there helping the people of our country with their sustenance, laboring through intensive heat, discomfort, sacrifices, amidst the challenges of peace and order, climate change and market forces. Nowadays, we now hear a lot of farm-to-market roads being built, like in Oriental Mindoro, and this is a boost for farmers to earn more.
Have you noticed that when you buy your produce from the source, the price is significantly lower in comparison to supermarkets. Sure, this is a normal aspect of commerce but how exploited really are our farmers who practically do not know much about marketing?

This is why for these farmers, the education of their children is a priority, especially if they can reach the college level. By the way, many are also into organic farming which they say produces a more expensive variety of products but this can’t be helped as such products entail more investment, albeit these are healthier. Back to TOFARM, to know how you can encourage your local farmers to join, just log in to the website of TOFARM at All the relevant information and details are there. Mabuhay to our farmers!