Department of Agriculture (DA) Senior Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban and the members of the Philippine delegation, attended events dedicated to the involvement of the youth in the agrifood systems and the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals during the fourth day of the World Food Forum (WFF) flagship event 2023.
The WFF, launched in 2021, is an independent, youth-led global network of partners facilitated and hosted by the FAO. It aims to spark a global movement that empowers young people everywhere to actively shape agrifood systems to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a better food future for all. It is organized into three interlinked fora – the WFF Global Youth Forum, the FAO Science and Innovation Forum, and the FAO Hand-in- Hand Investment Forum.
The FAO Hand-in-Hand Investment Forum co-organized an event on Scaling Youth-Led Solutions: Investing in the Next Generation with the purpose of providing the WFF Startup Innovation Award winners, teams from the WFF incubation program, and the Youth Food Lab a chance to present their ideas and businesses to venture capitalists and funders. Several ideas were presented, including solutions to addressing rural poverty with the help of bees and trees in Uganda, minimizing food loss and wastage in Kenya using mobile solar-powered refrigeration, and utilizing computational biology to develop the world’s first bacteriocin pipeline to address antimicrobial resistance in animal diseases.
Similar to the Young Farmers Challenge (YFC) of the DA, this session endeavors to guarantee that young agri-innovators and agripreneurs can sustain their agriculture project ideas over the long term with the right capital backing and adequate financial support from prospective investors and the business community.
Sr. Usec. Panganiban underscored the importance of the Youth Forum as an avenue for budding Filipino agri-entrepreneurs to pitch their agribusiness ventures in the international setup, and considered having representatives from the Philippines present their pitch in next year’s WFF, with the appropriate support from the DA through the Agricultural Training Institute.
The youth-led session was opened by the FAO Chief Economist, Maximo Torrero, with a presentation from Mr. John Cordado on the roadmap for young farmers and partner entrepreneurs through the Agr-Food Investment Coalition (AFIC).
After the business pitch from inspiring agribusiness innovators, the Philippine delegation visited the booth of the Young Korean students of the Philippine Service Learning group located at the Atrium of the FAO headquarters. The session, entitled School Assembly- No Food Left Behind, is a youth-led program that focuses on the achievement of SDG, focusing on the agrifood systems and zero food waste. The Philippine delegation actively participated in the discussions and presentations of the young students from Chadwick International School of South Korea.
The youth-led service organization has been providing assistance to the students of Labo National High School, the Aniceta De Lara Pimental High School, and Labo Science & Technology High School since 2019. Some of the projects involve the provision of Nutrition Program to over 120 students in total with breakfast and lunch every day during the school year, replacing and updating old facilities, blackboards, projectors, chairs, and desks through the Facility Improvisation Program; building a library and provision of over 500 books for the students in Aniceta De Lara Pimental High School through the Reading Program; and, the transportation fee program that assists students who are having a hard time walking a far distance every day to school. ###