BOOKS FOR ALL. To upgrade the learning of Filipinos on agriculture, the Bureau of Agricultural Research holds an online book fair starting Monday (April 12, 2021). More than 120 books produced in partnership with state universities and colleges will be given for free. (Photo courtesy of DA-BAR)

MANILA – The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) is giving away hard copies of books produced in partnership with state universities and colleges through the years for more Filipinos to take interest in agriculture and farming.

The online book fair “Libreng Libro sa BAR” was launched on Monday.

BAR Director Vivencio Mamaril said the program was in line with DA Secretary William Dar's mandate on food security.

"We are giving these away so they can have better understanding on whatever crop they want to plant or whatever technology they need to know," he said.

The book fair will offer 128 books and can be picked up during weekdays.

BAR is also spearheading Mentoring and Attracting Youth in Agribusiness (MAYA), a 24-week internship program that aims to develop young Filipinos into agri-fishery entrepreneurs (agripreneurs) or future agricultural leaders in their communities and local government units.

MAYA is open for 20- to 30-year-old Filipinos, graduates of any four- or six-year degree courses, preferably on agriculture, fisheries, agribusiness, and other related academic disciplines.

A total of 800 interns were initially accepted from among the applicants.

They are assigned to the DA national (Office of the Secretary) and regional field offices for 24 weeks, with a PHP20,000 monthly allowance.

After their six-month internship, MAYA graduates will be eligible to either venture into an agri-fishery enterprise, for which they may apply for a zero-interest loan with the DA’s Agricultural and Credit Policy Council, or pursue a career in the DA or other government agencies. (PNA)