UPLB graduate Anjanette Tadena wins Int’l Youth Leaders Agribusiness Incubator Competition in Laos

Anjanette Tadena
Anjanette Tadena’s winning investment pitch is for Myco PH, a social enterprise that will help augment rice farmers’ income with mushroom production. Screengrab from YSEALI video.

University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Agriculture graduate Anjanette S. Tadena has won the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Agribusiness Incubator Workshop Pitch Competition held in Pakse, Lao PDR.

The Filipino agriculturist working with the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Soils and Water Management (DA-BSWM) represented the Philippines in the workshop that involved 49 agriculture advocates across Southeast Asia.

Tadena and 3 other winners were each awarded $10,000 cash prize and mentorship from Arizona State University and Capax World after besting the other delegates with their winning pitches in the YSEALI competition sponsored by the United States Embassy and held on March 2 – 6, 2020.

Myco PH to help farmers with mushroom production

Anjanette Tadena’s winning Investment Pitch is about Myco PH, a social enterprise she can now begin setting up with her prize money. Myco PH aims to help farmers by providing additional income through mushroom production, providing training, and input for mushroom production.

Tadena pitched the livelihood project that augments the farmers’ income premised on two facts: that rice farmers’ income has been severely cut and remains low, and that mushroom production in the Philippines is also very low despite the local demand which is 95%-supplied by importation.

“That’s the gap that we would like to address, for the Philippines to be self-sufficient in mushroom production,” shared Anjanette Tadena to Good News Pilipinas.

The young agribusiness leader also revealed that she is setting up Myco PH and helping mushroom farms in San Carlos, Pangasinan, where she was born.

Tadena shares she chose the name Myco PH because Myco means “fungi”. She also specialized in Mycology at UPLB and that is how her interest in mushroom started.


Anjanette Tadena receives her prize money and mentorship at the YSEALI workshop. Photo from the Department of Agriculture.

The 26-year-old Tadena was one of the representatives of the Philippines along with Hope Maglinte Alas and Charles Allen Herpacio. Alas and Herpacio both made it to the Top 8 of the Pitch Competition.

The Agri-biz Incubator Workshop is an integrated 5-day incubator program for 50 young innovators focused on identifying and developing sustainable Agri-business opportunities in the 10 ASEAN member countries and Timor-Leste.

The incubator-style workshop taught participants how to apply Design Thinking, Lean Startup methodologies, and disciplined entrepreneurship through rigorous evidenced-based, action-oriented learning to help them recognize opportunities and learn how to build sustainable enterprises that can deliver innovative value in the Agri-business sector.

The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative was launched in 2013. YSEALI has awarded Iloilo’s young women with professional fellowships and included young Filipino leaders in its environment-friendly workshops.

University of the Philippines Los Baños consistently leads in the Agriculturist Licensure Examination and has been recognized for its various innovations in the field of agriculture, among them, the insect-resistant biotech (BT) talong (eggplant) and its Foodscaping edible landscapes.

UPLB has also provided help to red tomato farmers in Ilocos and more recently opened markets for Filipino rice farmers.

Filipinos have been receiving international recognition in the field of agriculture, including, agriculture scientist Dr. Leocadio S. Sebastian who was awarded the prestigious “Medal for Contribution to the Cause of Agriculture and Rural Development” by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam (MARD) from the government of Vietnam for his contribution to the country’s rice production.

With reports from Blesilda dela Cruz.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to Anjanette Tadena, UPLB’s agriculture graduate now working with the Department of Agriculture to serve the farmers of the Philippines!

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Angie is a self-confessed reformed news critic who vows she has finally found infinite value in delivering the good news. She teaches students of all ages how to make the important interesting for audiences across media platforms.