Zamboanga Sibugay- A total of 37 certified farmer-entrepreneurs, graduated from the Farm Business School (FBS) of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) during a ceremony held here recently.
DAR-Zamboanga Sibugay Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Mohammad Dassan Adju said the FBS aims to develop agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) to become agricultural entrepreneurs.
Of the total 37 graduates, 22 are ARBs and farmer-members of the Tomitom Small Rubber Farmers Association and 15 are farmers tilling at least 500 square meters of vegetables and high-value crops in Zamboanga Sibugay
“It has always been the purpose of DAR to look after the needs of the farmers, from training to agricultural inputs, we provide what they need to help them. And now with the FBS, we are not only helping them with their farm production but also equip them with the knowledge in marketing their products,” Adju said.
He said the FBS program is a unique educational system designed to help farmers learn and improve their knowledge and skills in entrepreneurship and farm business management.
“The student farmers underwent a curriculum including assessing their current farm situation, devising a farm business plan and how to translate that plan into action, making their farms profitable, by managing their own farm business,” he added.
“We are very lucky for being recipients of the DAR’s Farm Business School because we were taught on the preparation of a farm business plan that serves as our guide in farming,” said Mary Jane Butalid, a 39 year-old-farmer from Barangay Tomitom, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, one of the graduates.
Butalid added the farmers in their community used to sell their harvests without knowing if they gained or lost.
“Now we know what to do. Thanks to DAR,” she said.