When pastures are not green in the eyes of the youth

When you go to the Philippines’ Cordillera Administrative Region, your initial reaction might be to gush about the beauty of its landscape: from centuries-old rice terraces to tropical pine forests, everything seems stunningly green.

Yet in a region which offers magnificent scenery, a significant portion of its youth have moved away to cities or even other countries to look for greener pastures.

Researchers from World Agroforestry (ICRAF) visited people in the region to find out why. At an agroforestry farm in Bontoc, Mountain Province, several elderly farmers lamented the probable dark future of agriculture in their province. They said that many young Igorot (a collective term for members of the mountain tribes in Cordillera) prefer to work as paid labourers in other provinces and cities rather than working their own land.