At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, SEARCA, through its banner youth engagement initiative, Young Forces for Agricultural Innovation (#Y4AGRI), launched the Youth COVIDeo Contest to showcase young people's contribution to local food production, may it be in their homes, schools, or the community. The first two runs of the video contest reflected youth actions in growing food to sustain their families' basic food needs and alleviate economic challenges caused by the pandemic, and youth stories and advocacies focused on sustainable food consumption and food waste management. In its third year, the video contest rebrands to SEARCA Youth Stories Competition to welcome a new variety of agriculture-related themes wherein the Southeast Asian youth contribute significantly. SEARCA Youth Stories Competition aims to realize the challenges and adversities that the youth in agriculture experienced or are experiencing and gather their solutions and actions. This video contest serves as an avenue for the youth in agriculture to speak their minds, tell their stories, and be heard.
This year's theme, Amplifying Voices of Youth Agripreneurs, aims to highlight the potential of youth in debunking the connotation that agriculture is confined to planting crops under the sun's blazing heat, by positioning it as an enjoyable activity, an advocacy, and/or a viable career option. The video entries feature success stories of youth who delved into agricultural or social entrepreneurship, not only focusing on agricultural production but on other ventures along the value chain. Agriculture holds an attractive business proposition for young people by not only allowing them to earn a decent living and provide for their families and communities but also ensuring food security and vibrant rural economies for future generations (IFAD 2017).
There's no other way but up for Kab's Ipadindayaw Mushroom Farm, an agribusiness owned by 25-year-old Chris Michael Palalay of Abulug, Cagayan, Philippines. The thriving agricultural enterprise provides fresh oyster mushrooms to seven communities in the provinces of Apayao and Cagayan. For Chris Michael, enterprising oyster mushroom is a promising endeavor that can attract younger generations to the agriculture industry.
"Healthy Bite is an agribusiness venture from Jordan, Guimaras, Philippines. It utilizes superfoods, squash, and horse radish (malunggay) from local farmers' rejects and surplus to produce healthy snacks such as chips, chicharon, candies, cookies, and plant-based nuggets. Healthy Bite is made and crafted carefully and sustainably and tagged as the new way of healthy snacking.
In the hands of youth, countless possibilities for making a difference will grow. The rise of every young agripreneur is a new light rekindled. There is still hope. There is still a chance to save the world. Behold the beat of this young heart for agriculture, Francis Joseph Perdigon, a fourth-year BS in agriculture student majoring in crop science at the College of Agriculture, University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines-Claveria Campus.
This video briefly introduces Anita's and its vision and mission as an agri-business enterprise. Based in Kalibo, a small town in the province of Aklan, the enterprise applies food processing, post-harvest, and supply chain business solutions to maximize the range of raw materials available.
This year's theme is Amplifying Voices of Youth Agripreneurs.
The video entries feature success stories of youth involved in profitable agribusinesses not only focusing on the production aspect of agriculture but also on other ventures along the value chain.
The entries tell the story behind the business idea, the business's journey, the challenges faced, and the lessons learned. Moreover, the video should entail the impacts of agribusiness on its stakeholders (i.e., yourself, farmers, community).
These entries include clips of the agribusiness process—from sourcing, harvesting, and processing agricultural produce, promoting/marketing agricultural products, utilizing ICT in managing the agribusiness, and engaging with other agripreneurs / farmers / customers.
The videos also showcase learning and mentoring of youth agripreneurs and/or interaction of youth with older agripreneurs/farmers and other youth.
The contestants were encouraged to make their videos informative yet creative and engaging.