By Ronan G. Zagado
Supervising Science Research Specialist
22 January 2015, Thursday
The seminar will discuss the Rural Transformation Movement (RTM), a social mobilization initiative that aims to pool together various experts, organizations, and resources to rally and catalyze rural transformation in rice-based farming communities, with PhilRice as the lead agency. Rural transformation refers to a process that enables positive and relevant change in farmers’ chances, perceptions, attitudes, and practices, with rice-based agriculture as the driver of inclusive and sustainable growth in rural, farming areas.
The latest national survey indicates that poverty remains predominantly agricultural. Three out of four poor people live in rural, farming areas. An average rice farmer earns PhP50,000 a year, which is below the poverty threshold. While the movement seeks to spur a holistic transformation, it is focused on improving the economic status of the farmers.
The Gawad Saka data of the Department of Agriculture shows that it is possible to make money and become a millionaire through farming. Inspired by this, the RTM takes the challenge on how to achieve the P1-M farm income through collaborative research and development. Hence, the tagline, Gusto Namin, Milyonaryo Kayo (We want our farmers to become millionaires).
The seminar will basically highlight some strategies and what PhilRice has been doing so far, and persuade researchers, farmers, extensionists, students, and policymakers to take part in the movement.