At 26, Enrico and Gab committed themselves to succeed in agri-enterprise through the Kapital Access for Young Agripreneurs (KAYA) financing program.

Both of them hail from the province of Pangasinan and are among the six qualified applicants for the KAYA loan program in Region 1 receiving an amount of Php 500,000 each as a start-up capital for their proposed business.

Enrico Theodore Ramos, a business management graduate ended up venturing into livestock production – after giving up his own business in Manila.

Meanwhile, Angelo Gabriel Santos, who veered away from his fisheries degree is now back on track for his proposed Bangus production and deboning business.

New start

Enrico after graduating in 2015 started his own business contracting schools for audio and lighting services along with his colleagues and side hustled as a band member in the busy nights of Manila.

“For a year, I was self-employed. Nakakapagod nga po,” he shared.
Not finding success at his current investment, he then decided to return at his hometown in Alcala, Pangasinan to start anew.

With a hog raising business in mind, he did his own research and sought advices from people who’d been in the trade for a long time.

He was successful with his piggery for three years, but as the African Swine Fever virus rapidly pervaded in the country, he at once converted it into a poultry farm taking into immediate action the advice of his mentor who warned him of possible bankruptcy if he still continued the business.

“Pero kahit binenta ko iyong piggery ko, kinailangan ko pa rin ang KAYA kasi malaki ang gastusin sa pagconvert ng piggery into poultry farm.

Kinailangan ko talaga ito para mabilisan yung improvement,” Enrico said, adding that he came across the program after reading an article about it in a newspaper.

He then asked further details about it on their local government unit and presented his interest. At the end, he was endorsed for the program.
Starting from 50 heads of chicken, he has successfully raised over 600 heads of CZ Dominant chickens bought from the neighboring provinces of Pangasinan to as far as Tagaytay.

At present, he is waiting for the delivery of his additional stocks purposely for breeding to produce his own line of free range chicken.

Enrico targets on supplying the locals of Alcala with quality lines of chicken and eggs hoping to provide other farmers a sustainable business model and an efficient poultry production technology.

Last chance

In his early twenties, Angelo Gabriel Santos or fondly called as ‘Gab’ by his family during his college years shifted from one course to another, being unclear of what he really wanted.

“To be honest, for the sake na makatapos lang ako, sinubukan ko iyong course ng daddy ko at kapatid ko which is fisheries. Parang last chance ko para sa sarili ko. Kung hindi ko pa matapos, suko na ako,” Gab shared.

He eventually graduated last year. But far from his course, Gab worked in a BPO company first after not finding a job related to his course.

“Pag may ganitong programs pala natutulungan din kami,” he said, adding that in numerous cases, most fisheries graduates usually find opportunities first in the BPO industry as call center agents.

So after learning about the KAYA financing program through DA’s Facebook page, he immediately consulted his father who is currently working as a research specialist in fisheries.

“Sobrang thankful ako sa opportunity because I was given the chance to start my own business with zero interest with that kind of amount. Saan ka ba naman nakakita ng ganun? Ang galing ng program. Nabigyan ng chance ang millennials,” he said.

Hence, two weeks after receiving the capital loan, Gab has prepared his 2,876-square meter fish pond. From it, they are expecting to harvest from the farm a total volume of 7,916 kgs. of marketable sizes of bangus that will be deboned, processed and marketed within and outside the province of Pangasinan.

The Kapital Access for Young Agripreneurs (KAYA) financing program was launched this year by the Department of Agriculture, in partnership with Agricultural Credit Policy Council, providing interested youth ages 18-30 years old with an uncollateralized loan up to Php 500,000 with zero interest payable in five years.

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