Pinoy youth build agri-enterprises in support of PBBM admin’s food security agenda
At least 2,955 young Filipinos have availed of the assistance and support for their agribusiness proposals under the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Youth Farmers’ Challenge (YFC) in line with the Marcos administration’s food security agenda.
The incentive program, which is being supported by Senator Imee Marcos, has encouraged Filipino youth nationwide to venture into enterprises related to food production and processing for the years 2021 and 2022
Under the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., the government is banking on the innovativeness and out-of-the box ideas of the young Filipinos to ensure food sustainability as well as the creation of opportunities in the agribusiness across the country.
The DA’s Young Farmers Challenge was formed to empower the youth in realizing their dream to engage in agribusiness ventures and prepare them to be the next agri-fisheries generation of leaders.
Initiated by the DA’s Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (DA-AMAS) the YFC encourages youth engagement through a competitive financial grant, mainly from the Office of Senator Imee Marcos, that can be used as a start-up capital for agri-fishery enterprises.
Aside from financial grants, the participants receive business development services to advance their understanding of agriculture and agribusiness management.
They are also extended credit access under the DA’s Agricultural Credit Policy Council’s (ACPC) Kapital Access for Young Agripreneurs (KAYA) and Agri-Negosyo Loan Programs (ANLP), which they can use to sustain current operations and enhance production capacities.
One of the successful alumni of the YFC program is the NAMA Microgreens which was founded by science major Eldrin Lee.
“Nakita ko kung paano nakakaapekto ang agriculture sa food sustainability,” Eldrin said.
Partnering with Skyrene Bacalso and his brother Edriel, they launched an urban farming program, which seeks to build a sustainable food system that integrates food production, processing, distribution and consumption with emphasis on product quality and customer service.
It is an urban farming movement that envisions a healthy food system benefiting the consumers and the environment, according to Eldrin.
NAMA was awarded P100,000 in cash grant during the provincial level of YFC and another P150,000 when they competed in the regional level.
With the financial grant, NAMA was able to expand its system and obtain access to product development as they prepared for their very own Central Kitchen.
The young agri-preneurs also developed partnerships with famous chefs in the country and are now supplying microgreens to various restaurants and hotels like Makati Diamond Hotel and the Sequoia Hotel in Quezon City.
They also joined different local trades such as Food Beverage Expo (MAFBEX), World Food Expo (WOFEX), World Bazaar Festival, and participated in various KADIWA activities.