DA-WV awards top agriprenuers at the 2023 Young Farmers Challenge provincial level

Posted by: RAFIS DA6 | Posted at: August 10, 2023

The Department of Agriculture (DA) Western Visayas honored the standout achievers of the region’s agribusiness sector by announcing the 2023 Young Farmers Challenge (YFC) provincial winners on August 9, 2023, in Iloilo City.

In 2021, the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (DA-AMAD) of the Department of Agriculture, in partnership with Senator Imee Marcos, launched the Young Farmers Challenge (YFC) program to foster youth involvement in agri-fishery enterprises. The YFC initiative showcases the economic potential of agri-fishery as a primary income source, on par with opportunities in industry and service sectors. Under the competitive financial grant assistance program, successful young farmers can utilize the endowment as start-up capital for their proposed agri-fishery enterprise, individually or as a group venture.

“Be proud that you became an instrument to attain that principle given to us by our ancestors. So right now, you are the best of the best in your province. You are the declared winners. Now, this is your chance; this is the program for you to not only lift your business but also your family’s future. Secure a future for your family. Be the catalyst of change for your generation. Be an inspiration to other youth”, said DA-WV RTD Engr. Jose Albert Barrogo.

Each of the 42 awardees was granted with P80,000 financial grant providing essential backing for their agri-fishery endeavors. These awardees will now advance to the regional level competition, where a distinguished panel will select seven prime movers in the agri-fishery production category, processing, and digital agriculture. Selected individuals or groups will be granted an impressive P150,000 each to develop their ventures further.

“To our Young Farmers Challenge winners, we’d like to congratulate every one of you for joining this program-this contest, and we hope you will participate not only at the start but throughout your project cycles to make it successful so you can help other people. We hope you can do both- schooling and venturing into agriculture projects. We hope that the government’s resources will not go to waste, and we wish to see improvement in your projects”, said DA-WV AMAD Chief Ma. Teresa Solis.

The Western Visayas Provincial Level winners were:
• Mea Claudette Martesano of Meya’s Products (Nabas, Aklan)
• Jon Axl Gonzales of Axl’s Vineyard (Nabas, Aklan)
• Cassana MAe De Jesus of DJs Fishbowl (Ibajay, Aklan)
• Erna Rose Francisco of Batang Dagat Aquaculture (Tangalan, Aklan)
• Israel Zaulda of Cylvania’s Farm Products (Libacao, Aklan)
• Clara Stenan Dela Vega and Mariwel Galliete of Happy CatchFish Pond (Balete, Aklan)
• Queen Avegail Servanes and Annie Lee Mangilaya of Chicken Habitat (Banga, Aklan)
• Vincent Andrei Sarceno of Andong’s Native Chicken (Malay, Aklan)
• Kryzkar Zabala of KK Farm (Altavas, Aklan)
• Byron Prado and Christain Dela Torre of La Pina Special Moledo (Nabas, Aklan)
• Jayson Casuncad of Doosonkid Mini Hydroponics (Malay, Aklan)
• Lenon Cangayda of Green Hut Hydroponics Lettuce (Pandan, Antique)
• Harry Luces and Cilfred Ramos of Hoppy Bunny (Hamtic, Antique)
• Ryan Nicole Flores of Happy Farm’s Fruit Seedlings (Patnongon, Antique)
• Alen Rex Fernando of Green Minded Leaf ((Culasi, Antique)
• Joemel Orcia of Orcia Bounty Mushroom (Patnongon, Antique)
• Cornelio Blase III of Blase Green Farm (Bugasong, Antique)
• Manilyn Arcena of Spoiledsaamo Integrated Farm (Cuartero, Capiz)
• Seth Luigi Borbon of Clawseth (Pontevedra, Capiz)
• Althea Sunio and Sean Louise Silva of Capiz Aqua Farm ((Dumarao, Capiz)
• Reniel John Tica of RJ Integrated Backyard Farm (Dao, Capiz)
• Freziel Edio of Kalubihan kag Manoka (Tapaz, Capiz)
• Dave Francis Detangco of Dabid’s Dragon Fruit Farm (Panitan, Capiz)
• Margie Baticados and Madeline Demonarca of DA Dehydrated Pantry (Pontevedra, Capiz)
• Liomar Daliva od Yoms’s Sweet Side Chocolates (Panitan, Capiz)
• Shylin Ann Sambas od Tashi Mushroom (Buenavista, Guimaras)
• Messadick Vincent Niel Fuerte of Healthy Blends (Buenavista, Guimaras)
• JOmarie Gañaca, Jessie Ortega, and Rhea Mae Bacang of J&J Agri Venture Farm (Buenavista, Guimaras)
• Benjie Galleto, Crezel Gallego, Ronan Ardonidos, and Jay Ganancial of Friendchips (Jordan, Guimaras)
• Melchor Callada, Jr., Rollie Soribas, and Seth Joevic Aligaen of Phytobiotic (Leon, Iloilo)
• Ellyza Cañonaso and Edimio Lim of Cali’s Agrifishness (Leon, Iloilo)
• Anjelo Taño and Wilma Tababa of Sechium Edule Chips (Leon, Iloilo)
• Joaquin Victor Nebiar of Wacked Pepper Co. (New Lucena, Iloilo)
• Wharen Somogod of YK Ecotech Natives (Sta. Barbara, Iloilo)
• Janauh Reyve Talidano of JR’s Porkovation (Leon, Iloilo)
• John Paul Hulleza of Hulleza Urban Poultry (Passi City, Iloilo)
• Cris Jhon Escosa of Healthy Greens (Igbaras, Iloilo)
• Charles John Macario of CFC Integrated Farm (Iloilo City, Iloilo)
• Aljon Albiar of Albiar’s Ampalaya Jam (Calatrava, Negros Occidental)
• Ma. Catherine Hacermida of All Bien’s Native Chicken & Eggs (Talisay City, Negros Occidental)
• Bienre Bon Lamela of Bol’s Mushroom Production (La Castellana, Negros Occidental)
• Mara Ellyn Lacson of Mar’s Farm Catfish Grow-out and Production (La Castellana, Negros Occidental)

The assessment of business models was done by esteemed provincial-level judges Mr. Buen Mondejar, Chairperson of the Regional Agriculture and Fishery Council (RAFC); Ms. May Ann Grajo, Supervising Agriculturist of DA-WV AMAD; and Ms. Rachel N. Nufable, Assistant Regional Director of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Their expertise ensured the meticulous evaluation of each business concept, paving the way for the most promising agripreneurs to shine.###

Texts by: Maria Corazon M. Buala and Photos by: Jerem V. De Guzman/DA-RAFIS 6