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Over 3,000 apply for DA’s youth agriculture mentorship

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star
Over 3,000 apply for DAâs youth agriculture mentorship
“It’s a good indication that many of our youth are eager and interested to learn and get involved in agri-fishery enterprises. They are simply waiting for the right opportunity, and that is, through our MAYA platform,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
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MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA)’s Mentoring and Attracting Youth in Agribusiness (MAYA) program was met with strong response by the public.

In a statement, the DA said applicants for the program have already reached more than 3,000, exceeding its  required number of interns.

“It’s a good indication that many of our youth are eager and interested to learn and get involved in agri-fishery enterprises. They are simply waiting for the right opportunity, and that is, through our MAYA platform,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

MAYA is a 24-week internship program that aims to develop young Filipinos into agri-fishery entrepreneurs or “agripreneurs” or possibly technocrats, training as future leaders of the DA or of their respective communities and local government units (LGUs).

Only 800 interns will be initially accepted in the program.

MAYA is open to all Filipinos, 20 to 30 years old, who should be a graduate of any four- or six-year degree course, preferably on agriculture, fisheries, agribusiness and other related academic disciplines.

The program is coordinated by the DA’s Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR).

“MAYA will be conducted through experiential learning, or a learner-centric methodology that allows the interns to put into immediate use the knowledge and skills that they’ve learned in a relevant fashion,” DA-BAR  director Vivencio Mamaril said.

They will be deployed as interns to different DA national (Office of the Secretary) and regional field offices (RFOs) for 24 weeks, with a P20,000 monthly allowance.

After their six-month internship, they may either opt to venture into an agri-fishery enterprise for which they may apply for a zero-interest loan with the DA’s Agricultural and Credit Policy Council (ACPC) or pursue a career in the DA or any government agency.

“With an aging population of farmers and fisherfolks, we must continuously motivate, inspire and capacitate younger Filipinos to take on the challenge to help feed the nation, and earn in the process. Let us show them that there is indeed money and a bright future in agriculture,”Dar said.

The six-month mentorship program is scheduled to be implemented from March to August.

MAYA

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