THE WAY FORWARD │ Level Up Philippine Agriculture!

Best “MAYA” interns recognized

Author: DA Communications Group | 30 June 2021

For crafting the best agribusiness plan, turning in an exemplary performance, and posting on social media the most-liked and shared photos of their training, dozens out of about 800 young Filipino agriculture graduates who underwent a six-month internship were recognized and received cash incentives from the Department of Agriculture (DA).

The interns belong to the pioneer batch of the DA’s novel program to lure more Filipino youth to engage in agriculture, aptly called “Mentoring and Attracting Youth in Agribusiness” or MAYA.

“We congratulate the graduates of the first-ever MAYA program that forms part of the professionalization pillar of the ‘OneDA’ reform agenda to transform Philippine agriculture,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar during the virtual “Recognition Day” of the 791 MAYA interns, on June 29, 2021, hosted by the DA’s Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR).

“MAYA serves as one of our strategies to engage more youth and help revitalize the country’s agriculture, fishery, and agribusiness sector. It is our response in investing in people,” the DA chief said.

“Further, MAYA is part of the mainspring of our economic and social progress, as it allows the expression of some of the highest achievements in our society — ennobling and enriching human life,” he added.

“The program does not only entail hands-on training and mentorship, but also serves as an opportunity for the youth to step-up on the ladder of a lifelong career of work. That is why we see MAYA as a continuing process, aimed at transforming young Filipinos into entrepreneurs and future leaders,” said Secretary Dar.

The 2021 batch was led by 10 youngsters, chosen by a panel of business experts, for coming up with the “best agribusiness plan” that featured innovativeness, entrepreneurial attributes, revenue stream, value addition, and presentation and delivery. They received P40,000 each that will serve as a start-up capital for their proposed agribusiness venture. They are:

  • Kristine Faith Agato (RFO 11) – Integrated Rabbitry and Black Soldier Fly;
  • Cherry Agbon (ATI RTC 10) – Mamang’s Banana Chips;
  • Jessielyn Alfuente. (PRRI) – Jess’s Scented Virgin Coconut Oil;
  • Ana Fe Daal (RFO 13) – Tablea Processing and Marketing;
  • Rodney Dela Cerna (BFAR 7) – Mardebangs: Marinated and Deboned Bangus;
  • Camille Doguilles (RFO 3) – MushRaff Mushroom Noodles;
  • Jamaica Ejida (BFAR 10) – Jam’s PUSITsiritsit;
  • Rhema Joyce Mondala (RFO 1) – RJ’s Integrated Vermishroom;
  • Krizza Joy Peracho (RFO 3) – Soil Keeper Vermicompost; and
  • Joveil Velasco (RFO 4B) – Kaju: Cashew Apple Vinegar.

Twenty-six others were declared as “best MAYA interns” and another 30 won the “best photo journey,” who each received P7,500 and P4,000 cash incentives, respectively.

The “best interns” were recognized for their exemplary performance during the six-month internship, while the “best photo journey” was given to those who have garnered the most likes, reactions, and shares in their Facebook MAYA photo diary posts.

The 791 interns received a monthly allowance of P20,000 during their immersion and deployment in various “OneDA” units that include: 15 DA regional field offices (RFOs), 15 Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) national and regional offices, National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI), Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA), and Philippine Rubber Research Institute (PRRI).

“This is a program that strongly reflects the success of the ‘OneDA’ family in reaching out to the Filipino youth to venture in agriculture and fisheries despite the pandemic. Let us continue to impart knowledge, skills, and experiences to our youth and make agriculture more attractive,” said DA-BAR Director Vivencio Mamaril, the MAYA program overseer. ### (Rita dela Cruz, DAStratComms)

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