Recognizing their ingenuity and readiness to start their farm-based enterprises, 55 young farmer entrepreneurs from the four provinces in Ilocos Region received their certificate of awards from the Department of Agriculture during the Provincial Awarding Ceremonies of the Young Farmers Challenge (YFC) Program on August 18, 2022.

The YFC Program is a pet project of the DA in partnership of the Office of Senator Imee R. Marcos which aims to provide funding support to young farmer entrepreneur as they venture in profitable agri-fishery based enterprises.

In the awarding ceremonies held at the DA-Regional Field Office I’s 5th Floor Conference Room, four agri-youth entrepreneurs led the awardees in the persons of Mr. Mykel John Lagula from Pangasinan, Ms. Geneva Gañalon, from La Union, Mr. Ken Azcueta from Ilocos Sur and Mr. Rimoel Aquimbaca from Ilocos Norte who are the owners of the LAB Integrated Farm, G’s Duck Farm, Royal Mambing Integrated Farm and Norte Food Enterprise, respectively.

In her message during the Opening Program, DA-RFO I OIC Regional Executive Director Atty. Jennilyn Dawayan recognized the relevant role of the young generations of today in helping the agri sector to curb the problems on continuous increase in prices of commodities and the gap of food supplies and food sources.

Seeing the relevance of the Young Farmers Challenge program to increase the participation of the youth in the growth and development of the agri-sector, Atty. Dawayan likewise encouraged the winners to choose from the various options that the program can offer to invest either in food production, processing and other farm-based enterprises or even into digitalization which are aligned to President Ferdinand Marcos’ priorities such as systems development in relation to marketing, exports, technology business incubation and other farming apps that can be useful to modernize the farming sector. “Choose which way you can be more productive,” Atty. Dawayan said.

Finding the fund assistance grant as a channel for the young entrepreneurs to be more profitable, Atty. Dawayan also enjoined the winners to continue doing what they have started for it will not only provide them good income and profit but the benefit from the social enterprise will also generate jobs as a result of their agribusiness ventures.

Meanwhile, of the 69 business enterprises registered in the program, 55 has been qualified for evaluation by the Panel of Judges at the Provincial Level chaired by the Agribusiness Marketing Assistance Head in the four provinces.

From the 55 qualifiers, 34 enterprises passed the rigid evaluation conducted by the provincial evaluators which made them qualify for the Regional Competition.

As provincial winners, they were granted with P50,000 for the individual proponents and P100,000 for the group proponents. Said amount shall be used to finance their proposed farm-based enterprises ready for the regional evaluation.

Joining the awarding ceremonies are the newly designated OIC-RTD for Operations, Dir. Doris Joy Garcia, the staff of Senator Imee R. Marcos, Mr. Denjay Vidal and USec. Kristine Evangelista via a video message.#