Agri-entrepreneurship is an emerging trend that seeks to boost incomes for agricultural players all over the country, Senator Cynthia Villar said as she encouraged more farm workers and owners to explore the merits of engaging in farm businesses.

Villar, who is the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, reiterated the relevance of agri-entrepreneurship in the government’s never-ending battle against hunger and poverty, which remain prevalent nationwide, especially in far-flung rural areas.

“We need to work together to improve the quality of your lives,” the veteran legislator told participants of a 10-day workshop training for trainers, who were mostly farmers and cooperative members who own farm schools, who were taught the basics of setting up farm businesses. The training was jointly offered by the Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (SIPAG) and the Agricultural Training Institute of the Department of Agriculture Region IV-A.

The 28 ‘graduates’ from the National Capital Region (NCR), Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, Sorsogon and Camarines Norte received their certificates of training completion at the Villar SIPAG Farm School in Bacoor City, Cavite.

The lady senator expressed optimism that the participants will share their knowledge on agri-entrepreneurship in their respective farm schools and communities, as she underscored that farm business is one of the viable alternatives for farmers to earn more because of the wide range of options that farmers can do to maximize and enhance their incomes.

Farm business is one of the viable alternatives for farmers to earn more because of the wide range of options that farmers can do to maximize and enhance their incomes.

During the training, which was held at the City of Springs in Los Baños in Laguna, participants were taught the various components of farm business schools, such as farm production and marketing plan, farm business record keeping, Basic Taxation on Farming Enterprises, Understanding Marketing and Markets, the Art of Negotiation, Marketing and the Value Chains, Facilitating Market Access & Engaging in New Markets, Market Survey, and Benchmarking.

They were also briefed on Developing a Business Plan, Choosing Enterprises for the Farm, Farm Production and Marketing Plan, Financial Plan, Assessing and Managing Business Risks, Preparing a Farm Business Plan and Action Plan, Understanding Contract Farming and Appraisal, the role of the Department of Agriculture and how the Farm Business School can help smallholder farmers, the importance of Good Agricultural Practices, frontline services offered by the Land Bank of the Philippines, the establishment of farm business schools, and updates on cooperative development.

The farmers were also informed about Farm Tourism Enterprise, among others the development of Farm Tourism Enterprise, tools and techniques in the promotion & marketing of farm tourism, pricing a farm tourism package, standards and process of accreditation of farm tourism sites.

Villar is the author of the “Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016” or Republic Act (RA) 10816. She is a strong advocate of turning farm areas into special tourism attractions.

‘If we all work hand in hand, we can improve the quality of lives of Filipinos, the farmers in particular. Let us start this ambitious goal today. When you leave today and go back to your families, start planning how you can apply your new knowledge and skills to begin your own farm businesses so you can paint a brighter future for your families,’ she said.


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