Young carapreneurs get firsthand motivation from industry champs

Second liners in their respective family’s dairy buffalo business get firsthand inspiration from practicing carapreneurs who are considered as staunch advocates of carapreneurship. This was during a learning event on “Dairy Buffalo Farming for Food Security and Sustainability” with 45 youths in attendance at the Milka Krem Hall, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija on November 11-12 and 15-16.

The attendees, aged 15 to 30, are children of dairy farmers who are members of a dairy cooperative. The activity was based on the objective of transforming the mindset of the youth on their crucial role in pushing forward the future of dairy buffalo farming industry along with their imminent takeover as the next leaders of the cooperative.

Dr. Marvin Villanueva, Senior Science Research Specialist and OIC of the Research and Development Division, cited in his message the PSA data (2019) showing that farmers in the Philippines are getting older with 57 as the average age of workers in agriculture. Studies also show that older farmers do not necessarily encourage their children to engage in agricultural activities.

This was supported by Palis (2020) stating that 65 percent of Filipino farmers want their children to be better off going to college and work in cities or abroad rather into farming. As a result, they do not impart long-established farming techniques to the younger generation which may be linked to the declining interest among youth to engage in agricultural activities.

Dr. Villanueva then encouraged participants to develop their eagerness to help local farmers in their community. He urged them to start knowing the basics of dairy farming at an early age and develop passion for it.

“Ang mga kabataan hindi masyadong nakafocus sa pagkakalabaw. After makapag-aral ang iniisip ay makapagtrabaho para magkapera. Pwede naman po yun pero at the same time mag-invest po tayo. Sa pagkakalabaw maaring gawin mo ito hanggang pagtanda at kaya mo pa dahil hawak mo ang oras mo,” also encouraged Miccaela Alfonso, 26, proprietor of Alfonso Dairy Farm in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija.

Alfonso was one of the speakers who imparted her experiences in integrated farming. She shared that in dairy farming she was able to grow as a person in terms of constantly learning how to manage and expand their family business. The farm, she added, was also able to help their community grow by generating jobs and by teaching them to patronize local farm products.

Patrick Pascual, artificial insemination technician from Sto. Domingo, also shared his experiences on being a technician and how this has earned him sustainable income.

Among the topics that were discussed include introduction to buffalo milk- and meat-based enterprises, basic business management, cooperativism and leadership, spiritual and values orientation, and business planning. Said activity, which was spearheaded by the DA-Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) Socio-Economics and Policy Section (SEPS) led by Estella Valiente, will hold another batch of seminar via Zoom on November 29 to 30 to accommodate more than 100 youth participants.