CEBU CITY – Sixteen fresh youth agriculture graduates from Central Visayas have started their internship under the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Mentoring and Attracting Youth in Agribusiness (MAYA) program.
The interns were officially introduced during the recently held Regional Launching of MAYA at the DA-7 regional office conference room.
Of these 16 interns, seven are from Bohol, five from Negros Oriental and four from Cebu.
Lawyer Salvador Diputado, DA-Central Visayas regional director, on Tuesday said the MAYA program is a brainchild of Agriculture Secretary William Dar that aims to train the youth to engage in food production and agribusiness.
The internship has two tracks for them to choose from: One is for employment in government and the other is for agripreneurship.
For the employment track, the interns will be deployed in the DA-7 regional office while for the agripreneurship, they will be immersed into the Lamac Multipurpose Cooperative (LMPC) in Pinamungajan town, and at PESTALES Agriculture Cooperative in Argao town, both in southern Cebu.
Dr. Fabio Enriquez, DA-7 research division chief and coordinator for the program, said there were 89 youth applicants in the region, however, only 16 youths were admitted into the internship program as per the region’s allocation.
These interns will be exposed to experiential learning at the DA-7 headquarters and research stations, and at the designated cooperatives.
They will undertake a three-month internship program beginning March until June of this year with a monthly allowance of PHP20,000.
Enriquez added the interns will experience and learn to become highly skillful, competent, and committed future workers in the government as well as to become competitive agribusiness entrepreneurs.
After their internship, the youth interns will either choose to work in government or venture into agribusiness, where they can avail of a loan at zero-interest from the Kapital Access for Young Agripreneurs (Kaya) of the DA’s Agricultural Policy and Credit Council.
The MAYA program is aimed at encouraging the youth to engage in agriculture and developing their skills and knowledge to become competent, highly-skilled, and employment-ready agribusiness professionals.
The program admits 20- to 30-year-old graduates preferably of agriculture and allied courses. (PNA)