As a support activity, the on-going trainees of Organic Agriculture Production NCII of TESDA-Regional Training Center I were enjoined to attend the virtual briefing of DA – Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (DA-AMAD) on the “Young Farmers Challenge 2022” program last April 5, 2022 at the training center’s Mini-Organic Farm.

The Young Farmers Challenge is a grant program of DA-AMAD wherein youths are encouraged to submit their feasible agribusiness proposals to be later selected by panel of evaluators in the provincial, regional and national category. All proposals selected under provincial level will be given a start-up capital of at least Php. 50,000, while at least Php. 150,000 and Php. 300,000 for all proposals to reach regional and national category, respectively.

“This program of the government is purposively designed to save the aging agricultural sector. Based on studies conducted, the average age of farmers nowadays is ranging from 55-60 years old. This alarming average age is due to the diminishing interest of the youth in the agriculture sector.

The opportunities being offered by the DA-AMAD to the young prospective farmers is a game-changer, because it can create a positive ripple effect to the agricultural communities. “We can have our own sources of income by these agribusinesses, we can provide employment opportunities to our fellows, we can stimulate our local economy, we can help in achieving food self-sufficiency and most importantly, we can prove that there is still money in agriculture” says Engr. Francis Kenneth M. Alamay, TESD Specialist II and the trainer for OAP NCII as his class sits down for the said event.

Previously, there are graduates of OAP NCII who are hailed winners of the said program like Ms. Jennifer L. Lilan of San Gabriel, La Union who came up with an agribusiness idea titled “Ginger and Turmeric with Makahiya and Tawa-tawa Processed as a Mixture Supplement to Boost Immune System”. Also, some employees of DA-AMAD Region I like Mr. Harley Andres and Engr. Ajurina S. Libed, are also alumni trainees of TESDA-RTC I for OAP NCII.