Masaganang Agrikultura, Maunlad na Ekonomiya!

Young farmers move to next level of DA’s challenge, start agribiz models

Author: DA-AFID | 28 August 2022

About 1,700 newly awarded provincial winners of the FY 2022 Young Farmers Challenge Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the initiative of Senator Imee R. Marcos,  gear up for the implementation of their proposed agriculture and fishery business enterprises.

Starting August 29 until September 30, 2022, the enterprises will be monitored for nomination and judging for the Regional Level Competition, wherein each winner shall receive financial grant of P150,000. This is on top of the P50,000 (for individually managed enterprise) and P100,000 (for group managed enterprise) awarded during the Provincial Level Competition.

There will be four categories of enterprises at the regional level:
1) Production – enterprise engaged in production of crops, livestock, poultry, fisheries or aquaculture, agri-fishery inputs and fabrication of farm machinery/equipment;
2) Processing – enterprise engaged in transforming, packaging, sorting or grading of agri-fishery commodities into products;
3) Digital agriculture – enterprise that uses digital technology in providing tools or services for the improvement of farm/fishery production and/or processing; and
4) Supply chain business solutions –  enterprise that provides services for innovative marketing and logistics solutions that directly link producers with markets in support of sustainable food systems.

For each region, there will be seven awardees, four for the production category and one each for the other three categories.

Among the 112 regional awardees, only 35 enterprises will advance to the National Level Competition, wherein 12 awardees will be given additional grant of P300,000 each.

The DA Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS) officially launched the FY 2022 Young Farmers Challenge (YFC) Program on March 31, 2022.

Since then, the DA accepted proposals from Filipinos aged 18–30 years old who have the interest, experience, and capability to engage in agriculture and fishery business enterprise.

Individual and group applicants submitted their business model canvass, activity and financial plan, and other documentary requirements to AMAS for Metro Manila applicants and the DA Regional Field Offices (RFOs) for regional applicants.

Based on the General Appropriations Act of 2022, P150 million was allocated for the Young Farmers Challenge Fund to encourage and support them in staying or returning to agriculture and to engage them in food production, processing of agricultural products, and other farm-based enterprises. It also aims to provide the youth with the opportunity to own, lease, develop and cultivate land for agricultural purposes.

Winning participants to the nationwide “Search for Outstanding Youth Agri-Business Models” are selected in terms of the applicant’s entrepreneurial attributes, innovativeness of the business proposal, potential for generating revenue stream, value addition, and social responsibility.

Through the Young Farmers Challenge Program, the DA also offers business development services assistance to the youth including training programs and assistance in business and product registration and certification, mentoring assistance, market linking and business networking, and monitoring and enterprise assessment.

The DA-Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) shall be tapped for training activities, while the DA-Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) shall be tapped for loan facilities for the youth’s additional capital requirements in expanding their ventures.

On the other hand, the DA-AMAS and its regional counterparts shall monitor the awardees and facilitate the conduct of training, mentoring activities, market linkage and credit facilitation for ACPC loan facilities.

The program also established the Young Farmers Challenge Club of the Philippines, Inc. (YFCI) with the program beneficiaries as members. It aims to serve as a community platform to further promote agriculture and help the youth engage in agribusiness.

In addition to creating a network for the program beneficiaries, the club also intends to empower the members in promoting equitable prosperity, sustainable food systems, and climate change resilient agriculture. # # # (Gumamela Celes Bejarin, DA-AFID) 

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