TOFARM, Recognizing Pinoy Farmers

I have never been to a farm and haven't experience farming so I could say that I'm one of those people who are not into farming but would love to experience farm life. I didn't thought that there are group or organization that recognizes the effort of the farmers. I was lucky enough to know this and witnessed the media launch of TOFARM or The Outstanding Farmers of the Philippines.

Through Junior Chamber International, Philippines and Universal Harvester, Inc. this award giving body was formed to recognize the hard work of Filipino farmers, men and women. Farmers today or the modern farmers considers those in the agri-business, fisher folk, animal raisers, co-ops, farm communities, scientists, the academe, LGUs, both urban and rural. This award giving body aims to revive the glory of the Philippine agriculture by promoting farming as noble, lucrative profession, especially for the youth. This is because the agricultural sector plays the most crucial part in our survival as a people.

Today's generation are not interested anymore in tilling their fathers land. They prefer to choose the city jobs or become doctors, lawyers and engineers. The JCI and UHI got their idea to revive farmer from the idea of our National hero Jose Rizal which once said that Not all can be doctors. Some will have to stay and cultivate the land. That is why the JCI and UHI's mission and vision is to make agriculture attractive for the next generations and for the entire country once again. And for a long term goal JCI and Universal Harvester, Inc. wants the Philippines to excel in farming, to be competitive on the world stage, to produce more so that we can feed our own and not to rely on importing crops and produce.

TOFARM Project Chairman Rommel Cunanan disclosed that they will give out 11 awards for this year, six for the individual category and five for the group category. They'll be looking for the awardee from Farmer, Fisherfolk, Livestock, Agri-Entrepreneur, young Farmer, Agricultural Innovator and Urban/City Farmer for the individual category while on the group category will be from Agriculture Cooperative, Family Farmer, Local Government unit, Agriculture Initiatives and People's Choice.

The nomination period for Outstanding Farmer candidates begins August 1 and will end on September 30. Validation and Judging of nominees will take place in October and November, while the Awarding takes place in December.

Nominations may be submitted as hard copy or sent online to Nomination forms may be downloaded from the website.

For more information, call the TOFARM Hotline 709-5001 to 54, fax 709-5006 or email