Agriculture Education in Philippines – The economy of the Philippines is largely agrarian. A vast majority of its citizenry resides in rural areas and practice agriculture extensively. Its total landmass stands at a whopping 30 million hectares, 47% of which is devoted to agriculture.
Its prime agricultural lands are situated around and about the main populated and urban areas. The agricultural sector of the nation is subdivided into four subsectors. These are forestry, livestock, fisheries, and farming.
Corn and rice account for roughly half of the agricultural output of the country. This has triggered increased interest in the study of agriculture. Other than corn and rice, abaca (a kind of banana), mangoes, coffee, pineapple, bananas, and coconut are also grown on a large scale.
Besides these, calamansi (a kind of lemon), cotton, rubber, cabbage, eggplants, onions, garlic, cassava, and peanuts are also grown. The agriculture land tenure incorporates a mix of small, medium, and large-scale farms.
The average land size is roughly 2 hectares. These are often owned and managed by single families. They further range from subsistence to full-scale commercial farming. The typical farm comprises a mix of crops and a few heads of cattle.
Given all these prevailing conditions, there is the need to impart knowledge about the latest trends and various agricultural practices to the farmers. This gave rise to the agricultural colleges in the Philippines. Some are owned by the government.
The colleges below are by far the best with regards to infrastructure, quality of education, and the faculty:
a.) Pampanga Agricultural College
Was from the word go set up as an agricultural school in 1885. It was handed over to the state in September 1974. The institution is located at the foothills of Mount Arayat, Magalang, Pampanga. As things stand, the college is well over a century old.
Its campus is strewn around 700 hectares of the agricultural lands of the government. The main focus of the college is to instruct, research and develop, produce and offer extension services.
At present, it confers 13 undergraduate courses, a 2-year computer course, and a 2-year agricultural course in agriculture, an agricultural science high school, and a graduate school for 3 masters and doctoral degrees respectively.
b.) Xavier University – College of Agriculture
This prestigious college was established in 1953 by Father William F. Masterson. It doubles up as the second oldest of all the colleges of agriculture in Mindanao. On the same note, it prides itself as the only Catholic College of Agriculture in the whole country.
The college was also the founding member of the “Association of Colleges of Agriculture of the Philippines” (ACAP). Its curriculum is a mix of liberal arts and active fieldwork. It lays special emphasis on production, extension, research, and instructions.
Other than the aforementioned two colleges, there exist a number of other state-owned universities that work to confer education on various facets of agriculture. Most of them are affiliated with some organizations and faculties abroad.
Thanks to this arrangement, these institutions jointly provide valuable inputs frequently and regularly.