Photo tilt zooms in on young ‘agripreneurs’

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna: The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (Searca) has announced the opening of a photo contest that focuses on the role of the youth in transforming the Southeast Asian (SEA) agriculture landscape.

Glenn Gregorio, Searca director, said the 2019 Edition of the Searca Photo Contest (SPC) is zooming in on vibrant images that depict enterprising and innovative youth in Southeast Asia who are actively engaged in agriculture now and in the future.

With the contest, Searca hopes that more young people would be inspired to involve themselves in agricultural pursuits.

Five winning photographs will be selected. The first place will receive $1,000; second place, $800; and third, $500. The entry chosen for the People’s Choice award will receive $200. There will also be special prizes for the Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary’s Choice and the Searca Director’s Choice.

Gregorio said the photo contest is open to all citizens from Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam. All entries must be submitted online at until November 30, 2019.

“This year’s competition aims to capture scenes that illustrate the theme ‘Cultivating Southeast Asia’s Youth Agripreneurs’ with the sub-themes innovative farming, agricultural entrepreneurship, maximizing information and communications technology (ICT) and the agriculture-education link,” Gregorio said.

Called “agripreneurs” and “transfarmers,” Gregprio explained that agricultural entrepreneurs are people who combine business opportunities with agriculture and create enterprises to generate income and employment.

He stressed that Southeast Asia’s young population should be seen as an advantage, a strong potential for a bright future in the agriculture sector of most countries in the region.

According to estimates of the United Nations, in 2016 Southeast Asia was already home to 213 million youth. This is expected to grow to 220 million by 2038. The Southeast Asian population is considered young as those aged 15 to 34 year old make up 34 percent of the total population.

“Because the youth is the future of any given country, they should be invested in, properly guided and directed, so they will become good leaders and the catalyst for economic, social and cultural development,” Gregorio said.

Searca wants young Southeast Asians to see the agriculture sector as an attractive business proposition that will earn for them a decent living, allow them to stay with their families, and one that will create a vibrant rural economies in their communities, he added.