June 4, 2023

LAGAWE, Ifugao – Three young Ifugao agri-prenuers  are among the national finalists from the Cordillera region in the Young Farmers Challenge (YFC) under the Department of Agriculture-Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD).
Lovely Joy Paddapad, John Mark Daping, and Josephine Guimangal of Am-Iyoung’s Yuyu Farm Enterprise are among those who underwent the final phase for the selection of 12 Outstanding Youth Agri-Business Models that will vie for the additional financial grant of P300,000 per enterprise.
The group received a P100,000 grant for their start-up or additional capital for their business venture during the provincial-level competition, and P150,000 prize at the regional level.
Guimangal said they chose yuyu (Japanese loach) as their business product to address the increasing demand for the fish.
“Aside from the yuyu being an exotic delicacy and a potential source of income, we chose yuyu as our enterprise in order to address the increasing demands for yuyu. This is also a way of preserving the endangered Japanese loach in hopes to increase cultivators, preserve our rich cultural heritage, encourage the younger generation of farmers to work in the field to use the idle or abandoned rice terraces, and boost tourism through the restoration of the endangered loach in the rice terraces,” he said.
DA-Cordillera Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation Chief Susan Balanza encouraged the competitors to keep growing their enterprises.
She said the competition provides an opportunity for the Young agri-prenuers to help society by generating more jobs with their businesses.
The YFC seeks to encourage the youth to engage in agriculture and agri-fishery enterprises through a competitive grant assistance program.
It was first launched in 2021 through the DA-AMAD.   
The contest is open to youth 18 to 30 years old with proposed agri-business ventures which are innovative and are viable. – Florida B. Robles