Local Food for Local Good: Youth Action for Food Security Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

Local Food for Local Good: Youth Action for Food Security Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic
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by Sonny P. Pasiona, Zara Mae C. Estareja, and Nathan P. Felix
2021 | Agriculture and Development Notes Vol. 10 No. 1
ISSN:
  • Print 2225-9694
  • e-ISSN 2599-3860

The strict community quarantines due to the COVID-19 crisis have made many people, including the youth, realize that local food security is even more important. What are then the actions carried out by the youth relative to this? Forced to stay at home, many Filipinos, particularly young adults, have increased engagement or developed an interest in gardening to cope with the mental health implications of the pandemic (Sunga and Advincula 2021). Some youth and youth-serving organizations have also been active in promoting agricultural activities through online and offline modes. One of these organizations is SEARCA. In its 11th Five-Year Plan, SEARCA commits to gender and youth engagement in agricultural and rural development (ARD) as among its priority areas from 2020 to 2025. Relevant to this priority area, SEARCA's Young Forces for Agricultural Innovation (#Y4AGRI) was launched as an initiative to engage and empower the youth in ARD. One of #Y4AGRI’s objectives is to elevate the interest of young people in venturing into and pursuing careers in agriculture and allied fields. The COVID-19 pandemic has then become an opportunity to raise awareness among the youth on the value of food and agriculture to one’s survival.