BAGUIO CITY – Young Farmers’ Challenge (YFC) 2021 and 2022 winners from Baguio City and Benguet presented updates on the implementation of their business model canvases (BMCs) during the YFC Provincial Assessment held on March 21, 2023, at the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera (DA-CAR) Old Conference Hall.
The activity also allowed the DA-CAR to evaluate the progress of their enterprise and identify areas for improvement. The sharing of best practices also helped the young agri-preneurs to learn from each other and adopt strategies to help them succeed in their agribusiness ventures.
In her opening message, Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulations Atty. Jennilyn Dawayan expressed her hopes that the youth would take every opportunity, like the YFC, to learn. According to her, this would give them a higher appreciation of the changes in the agriculture sector.
“My challenge to the young farmers is to think of ways that are not usual. Let us challenge the status quo for the better,” Dawayan said, adding that the young agri-preneurs must share what they have learned in YFC with one another and with others who are also interested in venturing into any agri-fishery enterprise.
Afterwards, the Baguio and Benguet YFC awardees presented the implementation status report of their enterprises. The young agri-preneurs showcased the current and actual agri-fishery milestones, financial reports, and ways forward of their commodities, products, and services.
Batch 2021 winner Nick Loque of “Dontog Technofarm,” and Batch 2022 winners Elias Estol of “Elija’s Organic Garden” and Sherly Carlos of “Ag-kiing” shared the best practices of their enterprise.
Loque, Estol, and Carlos equally emphasized the importance of having a clear vision and goal for the business. This involves creating plans and ideas for the future and knowing where they want their business to go. They further acknowledged the importance of knowing the target market and catering to the consumers’ wants and needs.
“Always think about where your business will go or how you envision your business in the future. And as you go, list down the goals, plans, and ideas you want to envision for your business so you won’t forget them,” explained Loque, also the region’s ambassador of the Young Farmers’ Challenge Club of the Philippines, Inc.
Likewise, they highlighted the significance of continuous research and development, whether in terms of the product or the business itself. They also mentioned the importance of collaboration and seeking help when needed. Lastly, they emphasized the value of being creative, innovative, and presenting an excellent story to customers.
Overall, the young agri-preneurs believe that business success requires careful planning, perseverance, continuous learning, and a deep understanding of one’s market and competitive advantage.
The successful implementation of the YFC is one of the vital steps in the agricultural development of the Cordillera. Through the program, DA aims to produce a new generation of farmers who are equipped with the skills, knowledge, and resources to help them thrive in the ever-changing landscape of agriculture.
According to data from the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD), the number of best business model canvas entries for 2021 and 2022 are 50 and 81, respectively, with a total of 131 best entries. Benguet, Ifugao, and Kalinga have the highest number of entries for both years. In terms of financial grants, the total amount received for both years is P10.8 million. Benguet received the highest amount of P2.4 million, followed by Kalinga with P1.9 million and Ifugao with P1.7 million.
Meanwhile, some awardees have encountered hitches in complying with the full liquidation and report submission requirements. The compliance report for YFC 2021 showed that there is still room for improvement, as only a handful of awardees have fully complied with the requirements.
Six out of the 21 awardees from Baguio City and Benguet have fully complied with the liquidation requirements. Additionally, ten awardees have made some progress, while five are still working on submitting their reports.
In Baguio City, two out of seven awardees have already completed their liquidation requirements, while two have made significant progress. While in Benguet, four out of 14 awardees have fully complied with liquidation requirements, and eight have partially complied.
It is crucial for all YFC awardees to comply with the liquidation requirements to ensure transparency and accountability in the use of the financial grants. This compliance will also enable DA-CAR to better monitor the impact of the grants on the beneficiaries’ agricultural practices and livelihoods. By JBPeralta