“We want to expand and reach out to the youth to be agripreneurs. Nandito ang Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) at ang Department of Agriculture (DA) para palawakin ang inyong perspective. The youth are the gem of any country, especially in the digital era.”
This is the message of PCAF OIC Executive Director Liza Battad in her online interview with Bombo Radyo Philippines on October 21, 2021 on how the youth can be empowered through creating policy recommendations and equipped them as agripreneurs to bridge the gaps and issues of safe food supply in the country.
As most of the farmers and fishers are already in their late 50s, Dir. Battad said that the DA’s goal is to encourage the youth to become science-based commodity value chain players. With the involvement of the youth, there will be a fusion between the traditional ways and innovative ideas.
Interested youth may check out DA’s programs like the Mentoring and Attracting Youth in Agribusiness (MAYA) that will help them to engage in agriculture and develop their skills and knowledge. The program will also train them to be highly-skilled, and employment-ready agribusiness professionals. (Visit bar.gov.ph for more information)
Dir. Battad also mentioned that there are also other programs from DA’s attached agencies that could help the youth in acquiring technical know-how and growing their businesses.
For instance, the Agricultural Credit and Policy Council’s program called Kapital Access for Young Agripreneurs (KAYA) where young agripreneurs, from 18 to 30 years old, can borrow up to 500 thousand pesos and could be paid up to five year. The program does not require collateral and offers zero-interest. (Visit acpc.gov.ph for more information)
Aside from these, the Young Filipino Farm Leaders Training Program (YFLTP) of the Agricultural Training Institute also offers opportunities for young entrepreneurs to learn technical knowledge and skills in agricultural and cooperative management. Participants can also learn modern Japanese farming techniques and marketing strategies.
Unlike the YFLTP, which started in 1986 and was then managed by the National Agricultural and Fishery Council, now PCAF, MAYA and KAYA were launched in 2020 to encourage the youth to spark interest in the agriculture industry, especially in time of a pandemic.
As DA kicked off MAYA and KAYA programs, the DA also launched the Agricultural and Fishery Youthpreneur Council (AFYC), through PCAF last year to encourage youth organization members to identify suitable interventions and policies that would help their organizations, businesses, and also motivate other youth organizations to be involved in the decision-making process and development of the industry.
For more information about joining the AFYC, visit www.pcaf.da.gov.ph and check out the Advisory Special Body and click AFCs Membership Application Form. The filled out application forms can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Sa mga kabataan, lalo na kung ang mga magulang ay farmers and fishers, maging proud kayo. Learn from the good lessons and contributions of your parents. As agripreneurs, ikaw mismo ang executive ng negosyong ikaw ang mangangapital. Tutulungan ka ng gobyerno, ng DA. Kailangan mo lang maging sinsero, maging passionate, learn the tricks of the business, and makilahok sa mga usapan at konsultasyon,” said Dir. Battad. | JC