CAMILING, Tarlac – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) recently launched a Farm Business School (FBS) program in Barangay Bacabac to equip farmers with entrepreneurial skills in effectively managing their farm produce and optimize their profitability.
Forty-three farmers belonging to the Bacabac Farmers Producers’ Cooperative (BFPC) and Bacabac Gintong Ani Farmers’ Association, Inc. (BGAFAI) are enrolled in the program.
Farmer Jerry I. Lorenzo, BFPC Chairman, and Farmer Pedro R. Ibarra, BGAFAI President, thanked the DAR, its partner-agencies, and the local government unit of Camiling for giving them the opportunity to improve their farm business skills.
Building up the capabilities of agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organizations (ARBOs) in handling and marketing their farm products is among the priorities of DAR under the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the leadership of Secretary John R. Castriciones.
Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Ileona B. Pangilinan said the farmer-participants will undergo 25 sessions of farm business school for four months where they will learn the business side of agriculture using their own local environment as the FBS program takes the school to the farmers.
“The learning process will be interactive as the farmers will learn from each other. The facilitators will be there to teach and develop their capacity in running a profitable farm business by honing the farmers into becoming better farm managers and entrepreneurs that can respond to business and market requirements,” Pangilinan added.
The project came about after the DAR, with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture (DA), DA-Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI), and the local government units (LGUs) signed a memorandum of agreement to help farmer-beneficiaries in Barangay Bacabac.
Provincial FBS Project Point person Jailynn V. Dimalanta said the primary aim of the program is to transform the participants from mere farmers to farmer-entrepreneurs.
“When this group of farmers becomes entrepreneurs, they gain collective bargaining power and thus giving them leverage and command with regard to the price of their produce,” Dimalanta said.
Chief Executive of Camiling Erlon C. Agustin committed to provide the support they need so they may become successful farmer-entrepreneurs after they graduate from the course.
“I am hoping that your participation in the FBS will be the beginning of a big change and a huge step for your associations towards a successful business endeavor,” Agustin added.
Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Geraldine B. Yumul likewise dared farmer-participants to heed the call of farm-entrepreneurship so that they may contribute to the overall share of the agriculture sector to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
For this year, the BFPC and BGAFAI will be joined by three other ARBOs in the area during the duration of the FBS.
The three other ARBOs include the Ablang-Sapang Multi-Purpose Cooperative in the town of Moncada, and the Golden Pance 125 Multi-purpose Cooperative (MPC) and First Progress Agricultural Cooperative that are both located in the town of Ramos.
Last year, the Mabulod Green Farm Producers’ Cooperative in Sula, in the municipality of San Jose became the first beneficiary of the FBS project when DAR Tarlac piloted the program.
A total of 32 farmers completed the 25 sessions of the course and are expected to become farmer-entrepreneurs in their respective communities. (Manuel Dancel, Information Officer)
Photo 1: PARPO II Ileona B. Pangilinan of the DAR, Camiling Municipal Mayor Erlon C. Agustin, BFPC Chairman Jerry I. Lorenzo, and BGAFAI President Pedro R. Ibarra, sign the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to secure their respective commitments in implementing the FBS project.
Photo 2: DAR FBS facilitator Johnrey Martin conducts FBS learning session with the farmers of Bacabac, Camiling, Tarlac.
Photo 3: The Bacabac farmers and enrollees to the FBS together with officials of DAR Tarlac Provincial Office and members of the local government unit of Camiling.
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