The Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary highlighted that the innovation of technologies is a game changer to boost on industrializing agriculture in the Philippines.
“Since August 2019 the DA has been pursuing innovative approaches across all our agri-fishery programs, making use of the advances in science and technology (S&T) and inclusive market-oriented development (IMOD),” said secretary Dar, during the event conducted by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
The said event was all about a technical meeting on the Global Innovation Index (GII) in the Philippines which was held at the Philippine International Convention Center last February 17, 2020.
“In particular, we are focusing our efforts on empowering farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs) and young agri-entrepreneurs by providing them not only appropriate innovative technologies, but also needed financial support by way of a start-up capital, fund for project expansion, mentoring, or hiring of professional managers,” he added.
Respectively, Dar emphasized that DA allocated an initial P3 billion to fund various innovative agri-fishery projects and agribusiness incubation enterprises for millennials, hobbyists, FCAs, and agri-preneurs.
Apart from industrializing agriculture, Dar is also aiming to attract the youth to engage in agriculture.
Interestingly, DA alloted Php 500 million to provide grants for Filipino millennials and agri-preneurs that have innovative ideas which can process farm and fishery products through the Agricultural Technology Business Incubation (ATBI) program.
“The DA recently launched the P1-billion Kapital Access for Young Agripreneurs (KAYA) loan program to attract young Filipinos, aged 18 to 30 years old, to engage in any agri-fishery project, where they can borrow start-up capital of up to P500,000, payable in five years, with zero interest,” report from the Philippine Information Agency(PIA) stated.
Moreover, DA seeks to help the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to scale up their business because DA allotted PhP 1 billion for the Agri Negosyo program.
“DA is also setting aside another P500 million for the Inclusive Agribusiness (IA) program aimed at capacitating and empowering FCAs, where they can avail of a grant for institution-building and hire professional managers who will help them run their enterprise,” PIA reported.