By Alu Aluzan-Aran
TOFARM (or the Search and Award for The Outstanding Farmers of the Philippines), recently honored a Camarines Sur social entrepreneur and agriculture advocate, Louise Emmanuelle Mabulo, with a special award for Outstanding Young Farmer of the Philippines with Special Citation.
The award was given last November 18 at the ballroom of Makati Shangri-la Manila.
The Special Citation is a concrete validation of Louise Mabulo’s advocacy as it came on the heels of her return to the Philippines after being granted a full scholarship in the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Academic Institute Fellowship on Social Entrepreneurship and Economic Development in the prestigious Brown University. She was hand-picked for YSEALI by the US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Mabulo’s Cacao Project, her hands-on farm & livestock management in San Fernando, Camarines Sur, her various international scholarships, and United Nation’s Youth ambassadorship status impressed the judges and gave the committee high hopes that the younger generation will be getting more and more interested in agriculture.
With the tagline, Biyaya ng Lupa, TOFARM continues to push for agriculture to given the much-needed importance in building the economy.
In an interview, Louise Mabulo shared the reasons behind her advocacy “My passion is in food security and agriculture, and a bit of community and sustainable development. And the reason why is because I think that’s a very urgent field and not many youth are engaging in these things. There is huge need for young farmers or young people who will revolutionize or innovate the food industry, coz if we don’t, in the next 50 years, who will be producing our food?”
Dr. Milagros O. How, Chairperson, TOFARM Foundation and President of Universal Harvesters, Inc., says “We honour them (Filipino farmers) not just for what they have done for us...but for what they stand for...what they symbolize in this country and in our life. We honour them for inspiring us and for showing us what is good and admirable in the character of the Filipino.”
TOFARM Philippines Award 2018 honored 37 agri practitioners from all over the country in twelve categories: Farmer, Woman Farmer, Young Farmer, Agri-Innovator, Agri-Entrepreneur, Urban Farmer, Fisher folk, Livestock, Family Farmer, Agri-Initiatives, Agri-Cooperative and LGU.
TOFARM’s Board of Judges included among others, Supreme Court Justice Noel G. Tijam; Mr Victor Jose Luciano (1985 World President of Jaycees International/President of Clark International Airport); Dr Luis Rey Velasco (Professor, Dept. of Entomology, University of the Philippines, Los Banos) and Ms. Judy Frances See (SVP-International Operations Group, Social Security System)
Alu Aluzan – Aran is a Marketing and Communications/Public Relations Specialist. She is a writer-at-large and Editor-In-Chief of www.dineph.com, the complimentary website of Dine Philippines. Dine Philippines hosts food business seminars and conferences in key cities around the country. She is also one of the founding members of the Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement (PCHM) and the recently formed Camarines Sur Food and Tourism Society (CAFTS). Follow her at FB, IG or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org