The Daily Manila Shimbun


JICA reaches out to young Filipinos interested to learn agribusiness in Okinawa

October 25, 2017

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) invites young Filipinos engaged in agribusiness or agriculture tourism to apply to a training program to be held in Okinawa, Japan as part of Japan’s capacity building assistance to the Philippines.

In a press release by JICA on Wednesday, the training program is under the so-called Knowledge Co-Creation Program (Young Leaders) where participants learn new technology and skills in a specialized field and learn new ideas from Japan that can be applied to the Philippines.

“We believe that young Filipinos are becoming more aware of issues that surround society and that there’s a real interest for them to learn new ways of doing things and contribute to nation building,” said JICA Chief Representative Susumu Ito.

Government data showed  the Philippines has one of the youngest populations in Asia, with median age at 23 years.

JICA’s Young Leaders training program has benefited nearly 3,000 young Filipinos as of 2016.

For the training in Okinawa, participants will visit Miyakojima Island in Okinawa Prefecture to study green tourism. They will also observe product development using local resources in Yanbaru, an ecotourism site in southern Japan.

“It took years for Japan to modernize its society by learning from other countries and internalizing new skills and knowledge to suit our needs and conditions. Thus, we hope that through the JICA training program, young Filipinos would draw lessons from Japan’s experience, particularly government and private sector partnership in Okinawa and adopt them to address local challenges,” added Ito.

The Philippines’ socio-economic agenda pinned down developing rural value chain in agriculture as one of its priorities. Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data in 2015 showed agriculture’s share in the country’s GDP at 9 percent or P13.3 billion.

Young Filipinos then could learn from Japan’s so-called ‘sextiary sector’, (another term for agribusiness in Japan) on how the Philippines can add value to its agriculture and fishery sectors through agriculture-commerce-industry cooperation.

Application for the training program is open until November 24, 2017.  The training program will be on February 7-24, 2018.  DMS