CHILDREN of the country’s aging farmers stand to benefit for the two bills set to be filed in Congress by Fourth District Rep. Christopher de Venecia.
His two new pet bills: a Magna Carta for young farmers and another Expanded Crop Insurance for farmers.
De Venecia noted that the average age of farmers is already 57 years old which indicates that even children of farmers are no longer motivated to adopt farming as a primary source of livelihood.
He said a Magna Carta for young farmers will seek to encourage the youth to go into farming and learn to continue to make their hardworking parents’ farms more productive and profitable through formal education in agriculture.
The draft bill defines the aspirations of young farmers and articulates their needs, concerns, problems and challenges that they are facing in view of soaring prices of commodities, including farm inputs and on account of the changing times.
His bill also seeks to give farmers easier access to credit by minimizing the documentary requirements for bank loans. “We can’t help them to be productive and make their farming profitable if they are left to deal with loan sharks each time,” the young congressman said.
In the fourth district, De Venecia is helping organize the farmers form their own credit and service cooperatives and duplicate the successful cooperative in Barangay Aramal, San Fabian, that provides loans to its members at only two percent interest.
His bill also seeks to make farmers’ organizations and cooperatives help secure leasehold agreements between their members and landowners, noting that many the farmers in his district and in the country are still not protected by the agrarian law.
“The tenancy agreement must be reduced into writing,” said De Venecia.
Meanwhile, De Venecia said the bill seeking expanded crop insurance was originally filed in the House of Representatives by his mother Gina, which the lower house approved but this was stalled in the Senate.
He said he will refile the bill in order to to protect the farmers from huge losses that result from unending onslaught of calamities due to climate change. (Leonardo Micua)