PCC initiates youth program for impact zone cooperatives

Against the backdrop of increasing number of youths who are more inclined to pursue other disciplines than agriculture, the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) initiated a campaign that would inspire the “second liners” in carabao-based farming businesses.

This, according to Dr. Liza Battad, chief of Planning and Information Management Division (PIMD) and the lead organizer of the activity, is the main objective of why they conducted a one-day orientation on cooperative youth development program at the PCC national headquarters last July 4.

“We want to inspire the cooperative members and officers to start developing a program for their sons and daughters or the youths in their community so that they will be prepared to take on the responsibility as the “successor” or “second liner” in the farming business,” Dr. Battad said.

PCC invited three youth leaders from the Lamac Cooperative Youth Planet (LCYP) to share their proven framework in cooperative youth development. Justine Lynn Limocon, LCYP youth coordinator, and LCYP staff members Kevin Paslon and Adner David Repollo have been leading a strong force of some 14,000 active youth members in Parian, Cebu City.

Limocon and Paslon said the LCYP implements a five-component youth development framework. These are “aflatoun”, capability building, hub, gender equality and sustainable agricultural education program (SAGEP) for the youth.

Each component strategically prepares and nurtures the youths to imbibe the core values that are essential to empowerment. At an early age, they are taught to save money, discover and enhance their talents and skills, gain profits, conceptualize and realize a business, and become gender sensitive.

“With these preparations, our members are also trained to see that agriculture has a future and they are consequently ushered to cultivate that passion for agriculture within them,” Limocon said.

LCYP, according to Dr. Battad is an outstanding youth cooperative which was established in 2004 and operating under its mother cooperative—Lamac Multi-Purpose Cooperative (LMPC). Currently, LMPC has 84,000 members and operates multiple businesses.  With over 14 branches across the Visayas, LMPC has Php1.7 billion total assets.

After the orientation on LCYP, the speakers facilitated a planning workshop for the conduct of a youth camp for the children of cooperative members in August. The said workshop is aimed at creating an atmosphere for the cooperative’s youth participants to appreciate their family dairy business, inculcate the values and principles of the cooperative movement, and build individual character, confidence and leadership skills as a way of preparing them to be the next line leaders of their cooperatives.

“Being young is not an excuse to do great things,” Paslon said. He explained that at a very young age, the youth should already be trained because they believe that “there is no success without successors”, which means that sustainability of any development initiative cannot prosper without continuity.

“Cooperativism is a very meaningful movement. Through this, we can develop and transform the nation,” Limocon happily said.

The orientation was attended by officers and members of various dairy cooperatives in Nueva Ecija such as the Catalanacan Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Licaong Dairy Producers Cooperative, Eastern Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative and PCC Multi-Purpose Cooperative, and Simula ng Panibagong Bukas Cooperative.