YOUNG FARMER. Ryan Palunan, the Cordillera president of the Regional Agri-Fisheries Council, shows his family's backyard farm in this undated photo in Baguio City. On Wednesday (June 15, 2022) Palunan said that the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), the training arm of the Department of Agriculture (DA), has launched the Kapatid Agri Mentor Me Program (KAMMP) in Cordillera. (PNA photo courtesy of Ryan Palunan)

BAGUIO CITY – The Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), the training arm of the Department of Agriculture (DA), has launched the Kapatid Agri Mentor Me Program (KAMMP) in Cordillera with help from the Trade department to maximize the capabilities and increase the success rate of young people engaged in agri-entrepreneurship.

Ryan Palunan, Regional Agriculture and Fishes Council (RAFC) president of its Cordillera chapter, said the ATI has scheduled its KAMMP for young farmers aged 18 to 30 years old.

He said the sessions will run for six weeks from June 20 to June 24, 2022. The slots are limited but the institute plans to hold similar activities in the future.

The KAMMP aims to nurture and sustain agribusiness in the country through mentorship. Industry practitioners serve as mentors who provide guidance and assistance to participants by sharing learnings from their experiences.

The 25-year-old farmer encouraged those interested to go in agri-entrepreneurship to take advantage of the government’s initiatives to encourage the youth to get involved in agriculture.

Palunan maintains a backyard garden at their residence in Happy Hollow Barangay in Baguio City and is among the provincial winners of the Young Farmers Challenge (YFC) in 2021.

Hindi na lang kasi pagtatanim ang agriculture (agriculture is not just about tilling the soil), it also involves processing and marketing and it is best to be properly guided so that we will succeed and be further encouraged to stay in agriculture,” he said.

He said the DA has also announced the YFC-2 for 2022, an initiative of Senator Imee Marcos to encourage the young people to get into agriculture.

The YFC urges participants to submit a project proposal on the different activities in the agriculture sector whether from production to processing and even marketing. The feasibility study will be judged based on its doability. Provincial winners get PHP50,000; PHP150,000 and PHP300,000 for the regional and national winners.

“When you reach national, that means you have received PHP500,000 which will be a big help to your project as a capital, not a grant but as a prize for your initiative,” he said.

He added that having capital in any business is one thing and being able to actually use it to keep your business afloat amid tough competition is another thing. "The Mentor Me Program of the DA will help a lot, especially a young person who is starting to go in agriculture,” Palunan said. (PNA)