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Six young Zambosurian 'agripreneurs' ace Young Farmers Challenge 2023 provincial awards

PAGADIAN CITY, 23 AUG (PIA)- As Zamboanga Peninsula envisioned to be the center for sustainable Agri-fishery industry in the county, agricultural entrepreneurship is taking a big leap to bolster agriculture's role as the fundamental driver of economic growth.

Based on the 2021 Regional Development Report (RDR), Zampen’s agriculture, fishery, and forestry sector attained a positive growth rate of 2.5% and share to Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) at 18.7%. This implies that agriculture plays a significant factor in stimulating economic activities and development in the Zampen.

As part of the government’s initiatives to encourage young entrepreneurs to actively participate and engage in agriculture, the Department of Agriculture (DA) under the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division takes the lead in the search for the most outstanding young farmers in the region.

Young Farmers Challenge (YFC) Start-up is a competitive financial grant assistance given to qualified youths aged 18 to 30 years old who will be engaging ventures in agri-fishery enterprises. A total of Php 80,000.00 financial assistance will be given to the awardees that will serve as a start up capital for their proposed agri-fishery enterprise.

Among the thirty-six business model canvas entries in the region, 24 made it to the next level of competition, six are from ZamboSur.

The following are the provincial awardees who will advance to the regional level competition: ‘Daingcredible’ of Ms. Ej May Castro Kagatan from the municipality of Kumalarang, ‘Triple A free range chicken’ of Mr. Saren V. Alden from the municipality of Tigbao, Lira’s soap manufacturing of Mr. Ranie A. Ligasan from the municipality of Lakewood, Serenity Farm of Ms. Sarah Mae N. Ecija from the municipality of Dumingag, Swine breeder production of Ms.Shane P. Baguio Dumingag and Swine Fattening Farming of Mr. John Mark T. Argabio from Aurora.

Ms. Ej May Castro Kagatan, a 24-year-old young agripreneur from the Municipality of Kumalarang who ventures into marinated and sun dried bangus shares her inspiration in coming up with her proposal ‘Daingcredible’.

“It has been my dream and passion to create business on my own and create job opportunities for my community. Since my hometown Kumalarang has a wide range of aquaculture farms, venturing into aquaculture inspires me to help the local fishermen and give women a job for an extra income”, she said.

Meanwhile, Mr. John Mark T. Argabio,  who is also among the six awardees from the municipality of Aurora, shares how he had acquired his knowledge and skills in farming and business.

“Bata pa lamang ako ay nasilayan ko na ang aking mga magulang kung paano sila kumita sa mga inaalagaan nilang hayop kaya ako nagkaroon ng malaking karanasan sa ganoong pagnenegosyo”, he said.

(Since I was young, I have witnessed how my parents earned from taking care of farm animals that is why I have significant experiences in that kind of business) 

To jumpstart the implementation of their proposed enterprise, awardees are advised to comply with the necessary documentary requirements for them to obtain the said financial grant.

With the decreasing number of youths engaged in farming and agriculture, the need to continuously promote agriculture is a major challenge among rural communities. 

Further, encouraging the younger generation to actively participate in farming industry and agricultural pursuits has become an increasingly pressing concern in the country that needs urgent and strategic intervention. (NBE/EDT/HTB/SBM/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur/with photos and reports from Zampen Young Agripreneurs)

About the Author

Sheena Mae Mendoza

Information Officer I

Region 9

Sheena Mae B. Mendoza is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Information Technology at Central Mindanao University. She is currently pursuing her post-graduate studies in Public Administration. She is an environmental advocate who loves to connect with nature.

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