Innovative approaches are now being implemented in agri-fishery programs as part of the government’s effort to modernize the country’s agriculture and fishery sector.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said during a technical meeting on the Global Innovation Index (GII) in the Philippines held at the Philippine International Convention Center that they have been implementing these innovative approaches since August 2019 which include the use of the advances in science and technology (S&T) and inclusive, market-oriented development (IMOD).
”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.
“We are alloting an initial P3 billion to fund various innovative agri-fishery projects and agribusiness incubation enterprises for millennials, hobbyists, FCAs, and agri-preneurs,” Dar said.
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.
The DA also allotted P1 billion for Agri-Negosyo loan program for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to enable them to scale up their current businesses, as they can borrow up to P15 million, payable in five years, with zero interest.
Also, an amount of P500 million will be appropriated for the Agricultural Technology Business Incubation (ATBI) program that will provide grants to Filipino millennials and agri-preneurs to translate their innovative ideas into farm and fishery products.