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P5.5M awarded to Caraga farmers for agro-fishery project proposals

DAVAO CITY—The Department of Agriculture awarded a total of P5.5 million as start-up capital for micro agro-fishery enterprises pitched by individuals and groups in the Caraga Region.

The capital was given to 75 awardees from the five provinces of the Caraga region through the DA’S  2nd Young Farmers Challenge: Kabataang Agribiz Competitive Grant Assistance Program at the VCDU Convention Center in Butuan City on Monday, August 22.

Lynn A. Pareñas, assistance chief of the DA-Caraga Agribusiness and Marketing, said the awardees were 40 entries from the individual category and 35 entries from the group category as their working capital for their agribusiness plans.

The provincial winners received a financial grant of P50,000 for the individual category and P100,000 for the group category. The 75 young farmers in the region received a total grant of P5.5 million.

Rebecca R. Atega, acting director for operations, said the DA program was supported by the office of Senator Imee Marcos to encourage aspiring youth to engage in agri-fishery-based enterprises focused on production, processing, and supply chain marketing.

Atega encouraged the awardees to sustain their planned enterprises. “I hope you will pursue a more profitable agribusiness to help our country. Agriculture is the solution to ensuring that the country will have access to safe, affordable, and available food. We are here to support you for you to become agripreneurs,” she said.

One of the grantees, Jessa Myr T. Balandra, 24, from Nasipit, Agusan del Norte, said the demand for goat meat presented a good business potential for her Uma Alima Goat Production venture

“With the start-up capital provided by the DA, I intend to purchase highly productive meat goat breeds, the Anglo Nubian and Boer, which are excellent choices for producing meat. As a young entrepreneur, this is a huge help to me in realizing my plans,” she said.

Not only did the grantees already received their capital grants: They also advanced to the regional level.

The program was also a search for outstanding business plans and project proposals to ensure that grantees have working projects.  The proposals contained the details of the financial expenditure for the project.

The awarding of the grants were witnessed by the DA Caraga Regional Technical Director for Research, Regulations and ILD Nicandro M. Navia Jr., Executive Assistant to Mayor Roscoe Plaza of Nasipit, Agusan del Norte representing the office of Senator Imee Marcos Myco Cassion, APCO Chiefs June Anthony Ouano and Maria Theresa Espenido, and DA-ACPC personnel.                      

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