The Department of Agriculture (DA), through the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS) recognized the six “Outstanding Youth Agribusiness Models” during the 1st National Young Farmers Summit and Young Farmers Challenge: Kabataang Agribiz Awarding Ceremony held recently in Calasio, Pangasinan.
The Young Farmers Challenge: Kabataang Agribiz aims to provide competitive financial assistance to the youth who will engage in agri-fishery based enterprises.
Since its launch in April, DA-AMAS has awarded P50,000 start-up capital to each of the 1,179 provincial-level awardees.
From these, 48 were selected to vie for the regional level and received an additional P150,000 cash grant.
For the national level, six finalists were awarded an additional P300,000 cash grant.
· 3Rs Zero Waste Project (Region II);
· Lapaqueño (Region XIII);
· Dalikan Rabbit Meat and Chili Processing (CAR);
· Smartlink (Region IV-A);
· Mac’s Bounty Farm (Region IV-B); and
· Agribata Brand: Instant Cereal Powder for Kids-Original Flavor (Region IX).
In his speech, Agriculture Secretary William Dar recognized the youth for taking leadership in developing the country’s agriculture.
He said they are the new heroes of Philippine agriculture.
“You are going into agriculture with a wide margin for creativity.”
“This occasion takes me back to my starting days as a farmer and as an eager student of agriculture. But it was different back then. Farming was a means to live. You, on the other hand, are going into agriculture with a wide margin for creativity,” Dar said.
The agriculture chief said that if the government extends a larger budget to institutionalize the competition as a regular program of DA, it will help transform agriculture landscapes – both in the countryside and urban areas.
“Many of you proposed business models for urban agriculture and integrating technologies will surely expand our food productivity not only horizontally but upward.”
“Many of you proposed business models for urban agriculture and integrating technologies will surely expand our food productivity not only horizontally but upward,” the agriculture head noted.
“You are taking over the space to feed our population, to green our cities, to change our eating habits. You are responding to the global challenges, such as hunger and climate change, that confound veteran economists, scientists, technologists, and entrepreneurs,” he added.
Dar urged the youth to be in a constant lookout for opportunities from the national government.
He chief also shared his tips for young farmers and agripreneurs:
1. Do agribusiness with a heart.
2. Eyes on the market.
3. Be infomediaries.
4. Take to heart the OneDA Reform Agenda as your operations manual.
5. Go for economies of scale.
6. Adopt a modern mindset.
7. Immerse yourselves in the value chain.
8. Social enterprise is necessary.
9. There is money in agriculture.
10. Interact with us boomers.
Impressed with the outcome of the Young Farmers’ Challenge, Dar directed the Agricultural Credit and Policy Council (DA-ACPC) to double the start-up capital of the winners.
“If you still need additional capital to expand your business, ACPC will provide a loan of up to P500,000 for the national winners and P200,000 for regional winners,” he said.
During the event, DA-AMAS also recognized the National Coaches for helping the Department in mentoring the young farmers improved their business models:
· Arturo N. Tolentino, Jr., Co-founder/Manager of ARTFARM Sustainable Solutions
· Paul Andre’ L. Martires, President and CEO of GRM International, Inc.
· Joshua Aragon, Founder and CEO of Zagana.com
· Luis Macalincag, Founder and President of Agbeam Farms
· Ma. Frances Rubio, CEO and General Manager of GLCPP Inc.
· Katrina Chan, Director of QBO Innovation Hub