BUTUAN CITY – Seven youth farmers and groups in the Caraga Region will vie for the Young Farmers Challenge at the national level, the regional office of the Department of Agriculture (DA-13) here said Friday.

In a statement, the DA-13 said the winning individuals and groups topped the competition at the regional level held Thursday.

Each of the winner received a PHP150,000 prize for their Business Model Canvass featuring their respective agricultural ventures and farm products.

“The PHP150,000 prize for each of the regional winners will be used as additional working capital,” the DA-13 said.

The working capital, it added, may be utilized to improve or acquire additional equipment, machinery, or materials for their farm ventures.

The regional winners from Butuan City are Versandear Abuzo for his RV Strawberry Farm in Barangay Anticala, and the group of Joseph Catillon, Vanessa Elandag and Kathleen Ecoban for their Upcorn Tea in Kilometer 3, Barangay Baan.

Other winners included Vidmae Jusay for Heaven's Dew Farm Product in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur; John Glaizelle Siman and Cindy Decierdo for their Tsalach Aquaculture Park in Tago, Surigao del Sur; Charlene Mae Bico and Jaspher Angelo Telewik for their Free Range Chicken Day Old Chick Production in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.

Also declared winners were Jerry Salino Jr. for his Botchoy's Rabbitry & Vermicompost Production in Del Carmen, Siargao Islands, Surigao del Norte; and the group of Joshua Gamboa Alaba and Louie Jeb Alaba for their Alaba Tilapia Farm in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur.

“No final dates yet are set as to the conduct of the national level competition as the other regions are still completing their respective regional level contests,” Emmylou Presilda, the DA-13 information chief, said. (PNA)