TOFARM 2013 makes last call for Outstanding Farmer nominees

The Junior Chamber International Philippines (JCIP) is making its last call for nominees to the 2013 Search and Award for the Outstanding Farmers of the Philippines (TOFARM), a yearly search for the best practitioners in various agricultural fields.

Nominations for exceptional farmers, farmer entrepreneurs, farming institutions, agri innovations, agri-initiatives, local government units engaged in agriculture, cooperatives, agricultural NGO’s, young farmers, livestock farmers, fisherfolk, urban and city farmers, family farmers and women farmers will be accepted until July 31, 2013. Nominations can be made through email at or sent personally to 10th Floor, UHI Building at 158 P. Tuazon Ave. cor. 8thAvenue, Cubao, Quezon City. Nomination forms can be downloaded from the TOFARM website at

Re-established in 2012, TOFARM was initiated by JCIP in partnership with Universal Harvester Inc. to invigorate the farming sector and create better appreciation for the farmers who provide food for our 98 million Filipinos.“We want agriculture to interest and excite more people, particularly the youth who are increasingly being lured by white collar jobs and losing interest in tilling the land that their parents and ancestors worked on. We want to focus on the success stories in the field and in so doing encourage investments and advance research that will result in a vibrant agricultural sector which is the backbone of our economy. The end goal is to achieve sustainable food supply for the whole country,” said Rommel Cunanan, TOFARM 2012 National Chairman, JCI Philippines.

Dr. Milagros Ong How, Executive Vice President of Universal Harvester, Incorporated (UHI), said the need to attract more young people to go into farming is serious. Youths now are less interested to follow their elders’ footsteps and are hesitant to pursue farming as a vocation. As a result, the average age of farmers has gone up to 59. If fewer and fewer young farmers fail to realize their contribution to nation building, we will face a food security crisis in the very near future,” she said.
Dr. How, who was also recently recognized for her exemplary support for the Philippine Agriculture industry by the Angeles University Foundation, aims to open up opportunities in traditional and innovative farming fields that will attract young people and second generation farmers to pursue this noble livelihood.

From January to June, JCIP and UHI have gone to different provinces from Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela and Pangasinan in the north to Zambales, Tarlac, Bataan, Lucena and Laguna in Central and Southern Luzon to Puerto Princesa, Cagayan de Oro and Davao in the south to conduct LakbayArals – TOFARM initiatives to educate farmers on modern farming methods, nutrition management and best farming practices around the world – as an additional effort to boost farmer morale and development.

The public is invited to nominate farmers, institutions, groups or LGUs to the TOFARM search. Nomination forms must be endorsed by a local JCI organization, or the local agriculture officer, DepEd Teachers or the local parish priest. A scrapbook album or documentation must accompany the nomination and sent to the JCI Philippines Headquarters. Submissions may also be sent online.
Evaluation of entries will be done in September and October 2013. The new TOFARM Awardees will be announced in November 2013.

For more information, please go to or call TOFARM Secretariat at 709-5011 to 5004, 709-5006 (Fax).

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