FOUR young agripreneurs from Negros Occidental are among the 60 youths in Western Visayas whose project proposals passed the provincial level screening for the Department of Agriculture's (DA's) Youth Farmers' Challenge: Kabataang Agribiz Competitive Grant Assistance Program.
They are Angel Grace Veñegas and Mae Jamili of Bago City, and Andy Alimpulos and Jasper Neil Parcon of Kabanklan City.
As provincial winners, they will each receive P50,000 cash to finance their respective agri-based projects.
Rhea Cristina Resol, of the DA–Western Visayas' Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (Amad), the Business Model Canvas (BMC) of the provincial winners were evaluated by the different stakeholders including government agencies, private sector, and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs).
As a tool concretizing business ideas into a cohesive strategy, the BMC contains value proposition, customer segments, marketing channels, customer relationships, essential resources, key activities, key partners, cost structure and revenue streams.
All in all, there are 29 project proposals in the region that have passed the provincial level screening.
Those in Negros Occidental included the Duck Egg Production (free-range type) to Salted Egg and Hatchery Business of Veñegas and Jamili, Organic Free-Range Chicken of Alimpulos, and Small Rice Hog and Vermi Culture Production of Parcon.
For the 26 others, nine winning entries are from Iloilo; Capiz - six; Aklan - five; Guimaras - four; and Antique two.
DA-Western Visayas, in a statement, said three entries shall be declared regional winners and shall receive P150,000 per enterprise.
From the 15 regions, the DA will identify the top six best entries as national winners to receive P300,000 capital to advance the sustainability of their projects.
The Kabataang Agribiz Competitive Grant Assistance Program is said to be one of the government's actions to address the declining number of farmworkers and the aging population of farmers.
Youths age 18 to 30 years old, natural-born Filipino, and in or out of school took part in the program, the agency said.
Preferred applicants are those with formal or non-formal education and training in agri-fishery and must implement related enterprises that center on rural productivity and income.
The Youth Farmers' Challenge adheres to the "OneDA" approach of professionalizing the agri-fishery sector by involving the youth in agribusiness undertakings and allowing them to excel in their respective agriculture career paths, it added.