DA to launch youth farming program
JANINE ALEXIS MIGUEL
The Manila Times
THE Department of Agriculture (DA) on Monday said it will be launching its Young Farmers Challenge (YFC) program late on September 28 to help the youth venture into agribusiness. The YFC program is the brainchild of the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS) in collaboration with the office of Sen. Maria Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos and the Government Service Insurance System. According to the DA, this program will help the youth transform their ideas into profitable agribusiness ventures by providing a start-up capital of P149.25 million for these young farmers, as well as training. “Aside from the capital grants, the DA-AMAS also provides various business development services to ensure that the young ones will continue and upscale their respective operations through coaching and mentoring, local and international product expositions, and assistance with business registrations, among others,” said the DA. The YFC program is targeting a total of 546 young farmers this 2023 to take part in ensuring the country’s food security. The program has two new components this year — the YFC Upscale and the YFC Intercollegiate Competition. The YFC Upscale is a head-tohead business pitch competition with a financial grant of P300,000 for each regional winner and P500,000 for each national winner. Students taking up agriculture and related courses in the state universities and colleges (SUCs) will be also engaged for the YFC Intercollegiate Competition component, which will be a Business Model Canvas-based Competition. “The program will help students transform their ideas into profitable agribusiness ventures by training them to improve their skills and knowledge as agripreneurs and professional farmer business owners,” said DA. The YFC Intercollegiate Competition is open to all sophomore students who have business ideas with viability potential. “Each winning SUC enterprise per region will be awarded with a financial grant of P150,000 as start-up capital,” the department said. The said programs will also be open to all previous YFC awardees aspiring to scale up their current agribusiness operations by investing in new technologies including product development, improving marketing platforms, and generating employment, among others.