CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)--Some 41 individuals and 10 groups across northern Mindanao were recognized during the Young Farmers Challenge Fund (YFCF) Provincial Awarding, August 31, here.
Organized by the Department of Agriculture (DA)-10 through its Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD), the event honored the youth in the region engaged in agri-fishery enterprises with profitability potential, with DA-10 Regional Technical Director for Operations Carlota S. Madriaga taking the lead, in the presence of Raul Alamban representing Senator Imee Marcos.
In his remarks, Larry E. Paraluman, AMAD chief of DA-10 said, “This year’s challenge is the second year of undertaking as we continue to entice our youth to participate in the challenge [YFCF]. Challenge, in the sense, that you [winners] will become the incoming and future entrepreneurs in the agriculture.”
The agribiz chief added that the YFC program is stemmed from the fact that the average age of Filipino farmers as of 2018 is 57 years old and majority of the youth are no longer interested in agriculture.
To address such, Paraluman remarked that the YFCF ushers the youth awardees who has interest in agriculture to have a start-up capital in the form of a competitive financial grant assistance from DA, wherein P50K is accorded to an individually managed enterprise or P100K for a group-managed enterprise at the provincial competition level.
Of which, interested and eligible youth ages 18 to 30 years old, have submitted their business model canvasses, activity and financial plans, and other documentary requirements, and were evaluated by a panel of judges based on their entrepreneurial attributes, innovativeness and potential for generating revenue stream of their presented business proposal, value addition, and social responsibility.
On top of the access of start-up capital, Madriaga assured the youth that the department will continue to pool resources and opportunities that would enable them to engage in agri-fishery enterprises on a sustained basis by providing agri-fishery business development services to further strengthen their agri-entrepreneurship capabilities.
“This is just the beginning of your journey in your agripreneurship. If you do well in your chosen agri-fishery enterprises, more government support awaits. Show us!” Madriaga said.
Through the YFC program, DA is also set in extending business development services assistance, which includes training programs and assistance in business and product registration and certification, mentoring assistance, market linking and business networking, and monitoring and enterprise assessment.
DA-Agricultural Training Institute shall be tapped for the conduct of training activities, while DA-Agricultural Credit Policy Council shall handle the additional capital requirements of the youth for scaling up their ventures.
Rendering her message to the youth in attendance via a short video clip, DA Assistant Secretary Kristine Y. Evangelista conveyed her gratitude to DA-AMAD, local government units, private sector representatives, and the academe behind the selection of the YFCF winners at the same time congratulated the new batch of awardees.
“DA believes in investing in the youth, investing in farming, investing in the future. Nasa kamay ng kabataan ang kinabukasan ng agikultura,” Evangelista said.
Out from the pool of provincial awardees, they will continue to vie for the seven spots as regional awardees: four enterprise awardees for the agri-fishery production category and one awardee per each of the categories – processing, digital agriculture, and supply chain business solutions, and will be granted with P150K per awardee, while P300K is at stake once declared as one of the 12 national awardees. (DA-10/PIA-10)