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It is now July and we are getting closer to our first Agri-Negosyo Summit on July 25 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City. We aim to promote the agricultural sector as it is filled with agri-business opportunities that also promote the countryside and regional development.
We believe in the saying “There’s money in agriculture” and for many Filipinos, even those in the provinces, the opportunities and resources are all around us; we just have to open our eyes to how we can start an interesting agri-negosyo model close to our hearts and sharpen our pencils.
Even those already in the sector are always wondering how we can further improve our business models to upgrade our income possibilities. How can we move up in the value chain? This is probably the biggest challenge in the sector today. How can we make the farmers think like entrepreneurs? To go beyond farming or livestock production and move towards processing them, or storing and packaging the products well? How to supply directly the major supermarkets and village stores?
Agripreneurs can level up and produce higher value-added products that can command more stable and higher price levels as they may be in greater demand here and abroad. How can we process further or apply technology to the processes to lower costs and improve the product quality and presentation?
Many lives can improve through agripreneurship. Creativity and innovativeness will help them transform their raw products into high-value goods.
We invite everyone to join the Agri Negosyo summit to benefit from the whole program packed with plenary forums and seminars. We will also have mentoring sessions with our guest entrepreneurs, who are all well-experienced and knowledgeable in terms of agripreneurship. They will be able to answer questions and give advice.
For more information, visit our website, www.gonegosyo.net or call 637-9229 or 637-9347.
Meanwhile, here are some of the inspiring agripreneurs and enablers who will be with us in the summit and who are ready to share their success through hard work and passion for agriculture.
Wee is an agripreneur who transforms basic seaweed into high-value food stabilizers and other products. She is a co-founder of Marine Resources Development Corporation, the country’s biggest producer of carrageenan or seaweed powder used as a natural additive to food products. Marine Resources Development Corporation produces 400 tons of seaweed a month and they export it to major companies in the United States, England and Japan. One of Go Negosyo’s beloved trustees, she is also the president of Pearl S. Buck Philippines, an organization providing shelter for displaced children.
A graduate of Agribusiness Management from UP-Los Baños, Brian is the second-generation owner of Ato Belen Farm and is serving as its business development manager. Aside from partnering with other organizations, he also deals with business strategies, sales and marketing. Brian’s father, Renato A. Belen Sr., founded this family farm in 1987 with initial capital of P700 and a land area of only 200 square meters. Ato Belen Farm currently has 15 hectares and is home to over 2,000 rambutan, lanzones, durian and papaya trees and 800 aromatic coconuts. The farm produces high-quality fruits and vegetables such as lettuce, eggplant, tomatoes, broccoli, and cabbage.
Dr. Jose Rene Gayo
Dr. Gayo is executive director of MFI Farm Business Institute, which trains and educates farmers. Through their programs, Filipino farmers are empowered and inspired to become agripreneurs. Gayo is also the president of the Philippine Federation of Family Farm and Rural Schools and Foundations for People Development. He is the project manager of Farm Business Schools, a project of the Management Association of the Philippines.
Arroyo is the CEO and president Hybridigm Consulting Inc. Hybridigm, which started in 2004, is the first biotechnology consulting firm in the country. They provide high-value strategic planning by offering services for bio-entrepreneurs and investors. They commercialize biotech innovations to scientists, entrepreneurs and the public. They also have seminars and workshops regarding technopreneurship, technopreneurial business planning and biotechnology. Maoi is one of the early advocates of Go Negosyo, serving as a resource speaker in many negosyo seminars.
Ordonez is the president of Alyansa Agrikultura, an alliance of fisher folk and farmers from the agricultural sector. They are at the forefront of helping address issues and challenges facing the agriculture sector. Alyansa Agrikultura has over 900 members. Ordonez was also a former Agriculture and Trade and Industry undersecretary. He is one of the 1987 TOYM awardees for management strategy, and president of the Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines.
The daughter of Danny Gapuz, Danica learned about growing grapes from him. Gapuz Grape Farm has been actively functioning since the 1980s, after they bought their first grape cuttings from Lomboy farms. The 2.5-hectare farm harvests grapes three times a year and 75 percent of the farm is dedicated to grapes from California. Danica manages the farm along with her family. She serves as the marketing officer of Gapuz Farms while uncle Joe Gapuz manages the seminars, tours and farm consultation projects. Since 2011, they’ve marketed their grapes using social media, earning recognition from the market.
Prince Rainier Domingo
Domingo was recently elected the national president of 4H Club, which provides training for members and enables them to experience real agriculture. His goal is to help empower the youth in the agriculture and fisheries sector. He wants every youth to appreciate the importance of agriculture and be a part of it through the different organizations that are related to it.
Dr. Jaime Alip
Dr. Alip is one of the biggest names in the rural micro-finance area. He is the founder and managing director of CARD-MRI, or the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development Mutually Reinforcing Institution. The institution was founded in 1986 with millions of beneficiaries of financing, micro-insurance, training and business development service. CARD is the global leader in the microfinance industry. They empower landless rural women by providing access to microfinance and social development services. Dr. Alip was also a recipient of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2008 for public service.
Stephen Michael Co
At 27, this young entrepreneur was the founder and CEO of Selula Hayagham Corporation. His company sources natural food products from small and independent local businesses and repackages it under their brand, Nipa Foods. His company focuses on agriculture and biotechnology, which Co has experience in, having been a part of Hybridigm Consulting Inc., the first biotechnology consulting firm in the country.
John Rex Vicente
Vicente is one of the scholars of MFI Farm Business Institute, where he learns about agriculture. The institute provides students experience in real agriculture through camping and seminars. They also have a youth congress every year where members from all over the country gather to enhance their capabilities in agricultural development.
Escano is the chairman of Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food. He is also the president of MFI Foundation Inc., which has been providing quality training and education in the Philippines for over 30 years now. He believes that the agricultural sector should be able to think of innovative ways to produce high-quality crops so that farmers can improve their status. He is also the director and president of Escano-Teves Realty and Development Corporation.
Director Saliot heads the Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Training Institute that provides training and extension services to agriculture workers and clients. ATI also promotes the acceleration of rural development. Under his leadership, they used digital information communication technology to implement the e-Extension Program for Agriculture and Fisheries. Farmers and fishermen can learn and access information through this system. ATI continues to grow: from 10 training centers now they have 16 regional centers locally and one international.
Lagua is the executive vice president and the chief development officer for Development Banking Sector of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP). Through their lending programs, they are able to support micro, small and medium enterprises. Farmers, fishermen and agripreneurs are participating in the financing program.
Ayos is the senior agriculturist and officer-in-charge of the Seed Marketing Section of the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI). BPI is the sub-branch of Department of Agriculture, which is responsible of the Philippine plant industry sector. They promote the industry through research, crop production, crop protection and the development of effective technology promotion. Romeo also holds workshops and seminars on urban planting, gardening and hydroponics.
Baticados is the CEO of Baycove International Inc., the leader in Philippine Pangasius supply chain development and research. They provide hatchery, nursery, production, fish processing and marketing of Pangasius fish and its value-added products. They are the pioneers in the Pangasius supply chain in the country. Glenn is also one of Go Negosyo’s Angelpreneurs and an assistant professor at UP Los Baños, Department of Agribusiness Management and Entrepreneurship.