In line with its pursuit to uplift farmer’s life, the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera (DA-CAR) through its Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) in partnership with the Agricultural Training Institute – CAR launched and implemented the “Kapatid Agri-Mentor Me Program” last November 7-10, 2017 at the Ecolodge Hotel and Eurotel, Baguio City, respectively.
This program is DA’s adaptation to the “Go Negosyo Program” of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), developed through the Senior Technical Advisory Group (STAG) of the Department of Agriculture.
With the DTI’s success in this program, DA also believes that this will help Farmer Organizations and Cooperatives in their endeavour to lift up their farming businesses and become agri-preneurs through coaching and mentoring by successful entrepreneurs and business owners in all aspects of business operation.
Cristino Balancio, Senior Agriculturist from ATI-CAR, stressed in his opening remarks the importance of this training. “Business is everywhere that’s why it is important that you are here so we can help your business and also other people to compete especially with the ASEAN integration,” he said.
The mentoring program is a 4-day training covering eight modules that is focused on making business out of farming. The eight modules cover Entrepreneurial Mind Setting and Values Formation, Marketing, Accounting for Non-Accountants, Financial Management, Farm Operations Management, Basic Contracts and Obligations, Agri-Supply and Value Chain, and making a simple business plan.
Around 45 beneficiaries of the program coming from rural enterprise organizations and LGUs finished the training.
On the other hand, William Buhom, an extension worker participant from Ifugao said that this training is very relevant as business planning and preparing financial statements are one of the usual weaknesses of farmer organizations. He shared that failing to submit financial statements can cause the cancellation of registration and accreditation of an organization.
Father Marion Solang also from the Barangay Loacan Organic Farmers Association (BLOFA) extended his appreciation to DA-CAR for having a program like this that focuses on helping emerging agri-preneurs with resource person who talk on their experience.
By Herman Danis