Calasiao, Pangasinan – Six young agri-entrepreneurs were hailed as the winners of the Young Farmers Challenge: Kabataang Agribiz of the Department of Agriculture.

Outlasting competitors from other regions, the Top 6, that emerged to have the most Outstanding Youth Agribusiness Model, are the 3R’s Zero Waste Project (Region II), Smartlink (Region IV-A), Mac’s Bounty Farm (Region IV-B), Lapaqueño (Region XIII), Agribata Brand: Instant Cereal Powder for Kids (Region IX), and the Dalikan Rabbit Meat and Chilli Processing (CAR).

Each group received P300,000 additional capital to improve their enterprises apart from the cash grants provided to them as provincial and regional winners.

When the competition was opened in May, around 2,000 individual and youth groups applied when the competition was opened in May. Many of the proposed business models were focused into precision agriculture, urban agriculture integrating technologies.

In his message, Sec. William Dar praised the youth sector for their brilliant ideas in the aim of transforming Philippine agriculture.

“I am a big believer that the young farmers and agripreneurs are our new farming heroes of this generation…Your response to this competition precedes, for me, the priorities of our evolving national leadership as our country’s senior farmers whose average age is 57, to turn over the food security responsibility to all of you,” Dar said.

He also added that in the past two years, the DA had already instituted youth programs for credit access, scholarships, internships, and agribusiness pitches and encouraged the youth to watch out for more programs.

Aside from the national awardees, the top 15 finalists also received their cash grants of P150,000 plus certificate which include the six winners, the Bohoy Teknik (Region V), Ram Pump Aquaphonics System and Agro-Tourism Venture through Farm Diversification (Region X), Sakahon (Region III), Organic Grown Capsicum Annuum and Sustainable Crop Production (Region VII), La Sierra Mushroom Farm (Region I), Increasing Specialty Coffee Production (Region XI), Go Green Hydroponics (Region IV-B), Innovative Sustainable Turkey and Broiler Farming (Region IV-A), and Bagorganic Way (Region IX).

Meanwhile, young farmers from all over the country also convened for the first National Young Farmers Summit aimed at forming the Young Farmers’ Club.

The event was attended by DA officials led by Sec. Dar, Consumer and Political AffairsUsec. Kristine Evangelista, Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service OIC-Dir. Ramon Yedra, DA-RFO I OIC-Regional Executive Director Nestor Domenden and staff from different DA regional offices, attached bureaus and agencies, representative of Sen. Imee Marcos, Mr. Anthony Ng, businessman and owner of the North Star Meat Merchants. Inc., and the young agripreneurs.

The YFC: Kabataang Agribiz is a financial grant assistance program designed to engage the youth in agri-entrepreneurial ventures.
To date, deliberations for the second batch of Kabataang Agribiz are ongoing.###

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