by Lea Regina Dulay and Rojean Grace Patumbon/UM Intern
THE DEPARTMENT of Agriculture Region XI encouraged young people to participate in the 3rd Young Farmers Challenge 2023.
For three years, the “Search for Outstanding Youth Agri-Business Models,” or YFC, has been a nationwide competition that seeks to exhibit the proposal of young people regarding agri-fishery enterprises.
The goal is to uplift the youth to take part in agricultural undertakings due to the decrease in workers in the industry. This move by DA XI is in accordance with Section 17 of the “Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act of 1997,” stating that programs should be implemented to encourage the youth to engage in agriculture.
“Muabot ang panahon na atoang konsumo– ang kasagaran atoa nang pagapaliton, atoa nang angkaton [gawas] sa nasud sa Pilipinas. With that, makita sa DA nga kinahanglan nga atoang konserbahon ang atoang panginahanglan tungod kay nagkadaghan na atoang population (When the time comes, our consumption will mostly be bought or imported outside the Philippines. With that, the DA needs to conserve our needs due to the population increase),” said Melinda G. Rubellano, DA-XI supervising agriculturist.
The YFC 2023 consists of three components: the YFC Start-up, YFC Upscale, and the YFC Business Development Assistance.
Eligibility for the competition will consist of the following criteria: (a) must be aged 18-30 at the time of registration; (b) must be a naturally born Filipino citizen; (c) has the resources in the agri-fishery business; (d) if they are in groups, they should be qualified in the criteria above.
The number of awardees and the financial grant they will receive will depend on the level of competition. There will be 546 awardees at the provincial level, including participants from the National Capital Region (NCR) and receiving PhP 80,000 per awardee as a cash grant. Meanwhile, there will be 112 awardees at the regional level that will receive a financial grant of P150,000 per awardee.
On the national level, 12 awardees will be selected by the panel of judges, wherein five will be the enterprise awardees for the product category, five for the enterprise awardees for the processing category, and two for the enterprise awardees for the digital agriculture category. Each national winner will receive an additional financial grant of P300,000 per enterprise and will be hailed as the “Outstanding Youth Agri-Business Model.”
Requirements for the competition are (a) application letter addressed to the Regional Executive Director (for Regions) and Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS) for NCR; (b) a duly accomplished application form; (c) Business Model Canvas (BMC) and Activity and Financial Plan as stipulated in the program; (d) clear scanned copy of one valid ID; (e) Proof of Residency (Barangay Certificate or valid ID indicating home address); (f) endorsement letter from Provincial/Municipal/City Agriculture/Veterinary Office; (g) latest 2×2 ID with white background; (h) for groups, the members should submit a declaration of Intent that they’ll commit to registering as a partnership during the one year from receipt of cash grant; and (i) submit additional documents depending on the category.
Aside from the YFC 2023, the DA turned over P20 million to Davao del Sur State College in Matanao on May 19, 2022, about the Upscaling Bamboo Rural Enterprise and Development (BREAD) Project under the Agro-industrial Business Corridor (ABC).
The currently developed project will cover four components: the establishment of the processing hub, the briefing hall (integral for teaching farmers about bamboo processing), production areas, and the equipment used for production.
The DA XI expects an increase in participants for their upcoming projects, obtaining their goal to promote agro industrialization in the region.
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