Iriga: DA Bicol to select top three YFC Upscale regional winners

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Fifteen contestants vying for the Young Farmers Challenge Upscale Regional Level pitched their business proposals to the Department of Agriculture (DA) Bicol YFC panel of evaluators during the YFC Upscale Screening and Selection held at the DA Regional Field Office Compound in Pili, Camarines Sur on September 13-14, 2023.

Among the YFC Upscale Regional Competition finalists were Allan Cinco of Masbate City (PalanDOY Integrated Farm); Monalisa Balon of Daet, Camarines Norte (J&M Chicken Farm); Ma. Sheila Silguera of Milagros, Masbate (Mash Integrated Farm); Angelica Porto of Tigaon, Camarines Sur (Porto Kitchen); Jeremy Rubio of Mandaon, Masbate (Jhem Integrated Farm); Rey Mallorca of Daraga, Albay (Farm to Table: Young Farmers Backyard Piggery, Meatshop and Processed Meat Products); and Michelle Magsino of Labo, Camarines Norte (Chellycious Food Products).

Other finalists were: Sunshine Balang of Sipocot, Camarines Sur (RS Native Pig Farm); Arjay Borbe of Tinambac, Camarines Sur (Kaniguan Pet Park); Joshua Ros of Ligao City, Albay (BlackJ); Ress Ann Sibulo of San Fernando, Camarines Sur (Ann’s Mushroom Farm); Roberto Diesta of Guinobatan, Albay (The Honey Pot); Roy Cardino of Legazpi City, Albay (Boboy’s Itlog Pugo); Carine Virtus of Bula, Camarines Sur (Animatik Integrated Farm); and Rochelle Parica of Iriga City (Hydroparix Integrated Farm).

Each contestant presented their proposed agri-fishery enterprise based on prescribed format focusing on product offers, resources needed, investment requirement, sales, return of investment and payback period. Their proposed business plans were evaluated in terms of their creativity and business innovation, enterprise performance, social responsibility, business viability, and business sustainability.

DA Bicol Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division Chief and YFC Focal Person Adelina Losa as well as Department of Trade and Industry Trade Industry Development Specialists German Celeres and Arianne Joy Encinas served as panel of evaluators. Meanwhile, DA Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) Bicol Business Development Officer Glenn Balana, DA PRDP Bicol Enterprise Development and Marketing Specialist Victoria Eugene S. Florece, and DA Bicol Livestock and Poultry Program Technical Staff Dr. Jomar Azada acted as technical consultants.

The DA Bicol YFC team will announce the top three regional awardees of the YFC on September 18, 2023. The three regional awardees will get P300,000-worth of financial grant to serve as their additional capital. The top 1 awardee will compete at the national level competition, get a chance to win P500,000 additional capital, and receive a YFC Upscale Mentoring Assistance, a customized mentorship to be conducted by a panel of coaches composed of agribusiness practitioners, academe, start-up enterprises experts, and DA technical staff in order to improve their business pitch deck, business plan, and enterprise implementation.YFC Upscale is one of the three components of the YFC Program designed to assist the YFC program awardees to scale-up their existing agri-fishery enterprise operation by providing them with additional capital in the form of competitive financial grant assistance. Previous YFC awardees aspiring to improve their current agribusiness operations participated in the contest. (Annielyn L. Baleza, DA RAFIS V with reports from Janard Manlangit and Julie Ann P. Santos, DA AMAD V)

(Source: DA Bicol, photo courtesy by Zandra G. Abogado and Annielyn L. Baleza)

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