Palauan farmers are already aging: BOA Director
By Rhealyn C. Pojas
The Bureau of Agriculture (BOA) is hoping to entice young people to get interest in farming especially now that the farmers in Palau are already aging.
In an interview with BOA Director Fernando Sengebau during the sidelines of the opening of the Palau National Slaughterhouse (PNS) last Friday, he said that there are already no young farmers in the country and the youth also tends to develop interest in criminal justice and other subjects. [restrict]
According to Sengebau, they have been visiting schools to help generate interest in agriculture, adding that they are aiming to introduce programs on agriculture to grade schools.
With the establishment of the PNS, the BOA hopes for farmers to really make a living out of it so that young farmers will be enticed to engage in the agricultural business.
Sengebau also said that their current data reveals that the biggest locally produce agricultural products in Palau are Beetle nuts along with root crops.
“If you go to the market, you’ll see the root crops, taro and cassava, and of course, beetle nuts,” Sengebau said.
“It’s sad to say…it’s a bad habit but it’s part of the tradition here,” Sengebau said, referring to the Palauans’ fondness in chewing beetle nut.
Another challenge faced by the agricultural industry in Palau is that the market for vegetables is not very strong as Palauans are not very fond of consuming vegetables, according to Sengebau.
Although there are locally produce vegetable products here, these however are grown by foreign commercial farms operated by Chinese businessmen. [/restrict]