CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – A total of 73 aspiring young agripreneurs from the four provinces of Northern Mindanao hailed as Provincial Winners of the Young Farmers Challenge: Kabataang Agribiz Competitive Grant Assistance Program on Friday, October 15.

The Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 awarded the winners in the Virtual Awarding Ceremony organized by the agency’s Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division via Facebook Live.

Winners include: Bukidnon (31); Misamis Oriental (17); Lanao del Norte (9); Camiguin (8); and, Cagayan de Oro City (8).

The said program was created to provide financial grants to deserving young farmers who are planning to start agri-fishery enterprises, by way of agribusiness pitching competition.

It was conceived to lure the country’s youths to engage in the agri-fishery sector, especially given the youths’ waning interest in agriculture in recent years.

In his message DA Secretary William D. Dar assured the country’s young agripreneurs of the DA’s continued support, believing that the youngsters are the future of the country’s agriculture.

“The agriculture sector is vital in re-energizing the country’s economy. Always remember that the Department of Agriculture is always here to provide support and craft policies and programs that will help our young farmers and agripreneurs,” he remarked.

In his part DA-Region 10 Regional Executive Director, Carlene C. Collado urged the awardees to remain steadfast in their commitment to contribute towards agricultural development.

“The country needs the millennial to commit with a passion to advocacies in developing the agriculture sector of the country. Agriculture is the foundation of food security and the youths are the future of food security,” he accounted.

He added that given the opportunities in agriculture, the youths must open their hearts and minds to be industry players, taking advantage of the economic benefits in the government’s food security agenda.

A total of 125 eligible aspiring young agripreneurs signed up for the provincial leg of the Kabataang Agribiz Competitive Grant Assistance Program in Region 10.

The participants went through scrutinous evaluation and screening of the Provincial Screening Committee organized by the respective Provincial and City Government Units.

The 73 Provincial Level Winners were adjudged based on their entrepreneurial attitude, innovativeness and revenue stream of the business proposal, and value addition.

Each winner will receive P50,000 worth of financial grant from the DA as start-up capital in materializing their proposed agribusiness.

Out of 73 Provincial Winners, 3 outstanding competitors will be named Regional Winners by the Regional Evaluation Committee of the DA-Region 10, to represent Northern Mindanao in the national leg of the competition.

Six National Winners will be chosen from among the Regional Winners nationwide.

The Regional and National Winners will receive P150,000 and P300,000 in financial grant, respectively.# (ATalib)