Real talk, no one wants to become a farmer in the Philippines anymore. With more and more natural calamities hitting the Philippines and imported rice sold at a cheaper price in the market, why would the millennials venture into agriculture when it seems like a losing streak? This has been the dilemma of the Department of Agriculture for these past few years – the decline of farmers in the country.
But food is an essential part of our lives. And we can’t keep on relying to other countries for the meals that we will take. What if they’ll have shortage as well? What if they decide to take full control of our economy? What will happen to us? For this reason, the Department of Agriculture launched three new programs that hopes to encourage more millennials to venture into agriculture. A budget of P500-million fund has been set aside for this project according to Agriculture Secretary William Dar. This budget will be used to give P500,000 start-up grants to young individuals who have “good ideas” about agribusiness.
How to qualify for this P500,000 Agribusiness start up grants?
According to the Department of Agriculture, those who will receive the P500,000 grant will be mentored by both private and public universities together with established practitioners in the agribusiness.
The second program would follow the “Do business now, Pay later” concept wherein individuals aging from 18 to 30 are granted a sum of P500,000 loan that they can use for establishing a business. The loan is payable within five years with zero interest.
Lastly, the third program – the Micro and Small Entrepreneurship Loan Program – involves the micro and small farming entrepreneurs. They are given a chance to scale up their business with a P15M-zero interest loan from the Agriculture Department that is payable in five years.
According to the department, even those who don’t have experience or educational attainment can enroll in these programs. However, a business plan and “passion and interest” are required from those who wish to avail themselves of the grants and loans. With all these new programs, the Department of Agriculture hopes that with these new programs will win the hearts of the millenials and bring them back to harvest, back to agriculture, and back to agribusiness.