PSSST promotes soil science courses (Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Society of Soil Science and Technology Inc. (PSSST) will be giving thesis grants and career orientation to all state universities and colleges (SUCs) that offer agricultural courses in the Philippines.

The move is in line with PSSST’s goal to promote the advancement of soil science and technology in the Philippines and to increase the number of students majoring in soil science.

The sharp decline in the number of enrollees in agriculture in the Philippines for the last few decades is considered as a threat to the country’s food security, the PSSST said.

According to a research conducted by the University of the Philippines Los Baaos (UPLB), the country’s finest agricultural institution, there was a drastic decline in 2012 with only 4.7 percent of the total students enrolling in agriculture.

To combat the declining statistics, PSSST president Redia N. Atienza said the non-profit organization initiates to conduct career orientation activities for second and third year students to offer them opportunities upon finishing college. It shall also give away thesis grants to all qualified soil science majors.

“The career orientation program is to encourage students to major in Soil Science, where our soil scientists and technologists share their knowledge regarding the many opportunities ahead, in the development and conservation of Philippine soils,” Atienza said.

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Considering that the Philippines is an agricultural country, the statistics showing an immense decrease and the lack of interest of the young generations to take up soil science and other related discipline could affect the agricultural stability of the country, the PSSST noted.

Aside from that, farmers do not consider their children’s future ending up like them. The fact still remains that, in the Philippines, farming is considered as a “small-time” job, the non-profit organization said.