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The Philippines is still primarily an agricultural country.
As the lead agency for agricultural development, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has been pursuing its critical role in providing and developing programs that would enable and capacitate the agriculture sector, especially our farmers to improve and advance the local food supply chain to competitively engaged the global market.
To date, the main consideration was to further develop and enhance the business/enterprising capability of our micro-small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) specifically engaged in agribusiness through agribusiness mentorship and coaching from business experts.
In this regard, the DA developed the “Kapatid Agri-Mentor Me program (KAMMP) to promote, sustain and scale up Agri-business initiatives in the country.
What is KAMMP?
KAMMP is an agribusiness mentorship and coaching program developed by the DA through the Office of the Secretary patterned after the “Go Negosyo Model” of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). With the DTI’s success in this program, DA also believes that this will help Farmer Organizations and Cooperatives in their endeavor to lift up their farming businesses and become agripreneurs..
The project primarily aims to equip agricultural entrepreneurs with a better understanding of how agribusiness works and how they can effectively maximize their resources.
In partnership with the Go Negosyo Team, private corporations and other government agencies, this program seek to educate and provide assistance to our farmer-entrepreneur organizations, strengthen their business operations, and build-up their capability.
It is implemented by the DA through the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) taking the lead in spearheading this program in partnership with the ATI-Regional Training with the various Farmers’ Organizations and Cooperatives as beneficiaries.
The 4-day mentoring program is composed of modules focused on making a 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 Simple Business Plan.
Agri-business Industry experts and practitioners with an extensive knowledge in agricultural entrepreneurship are tapped to guide farmers in learning the modules. They will impart the proper production techniques, mindset and values, practical knowledge and strategies, and consultation services to foster successful and sustainable agri-enterprises to the participants in a way that is easily understood by them
KAMMP in CAR
In pursuit of uplifting the life of Cordilleran farmers, the DA in collaboration with the Agricultural Training Institute-CAR conducted a 4-day mentoring program last year.
Around 70 beneficiaries coming from the group of farmers and Local Government Units (LGU) who are interested in the field of agri-business attended the said training.
As a result, a total of 11 drafted business plan was presented on January 26, 2018, as part of the Agribusiness Support for Promotion and Investment in Regional Expo (ASPIRE) held at the Ben Palispis Hall, Benguet Capitol, La Trinidad, Benguet. These were business plans of the La Trinidad Organic Practitioners, Kiangan Organic Practitioners Association, Barangay Loacan Organic Farmers Association, Our Farmers Haven, Mt. Province Heirloom Rice Farmers Association Cooperative, Kalinga Rice Terraces Farmers Association, Heirloom Rice Federation, Mt. Province Small Ruminants Goat Raisers Association and TOPDAC Multipurpose Cooperative.
Business plans presented were critiqued by a panel of experts from the agribusiness sector and academe for further coaching and improvement.
According to Efren C. Lorenzo, staff of the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) DA-CAR, comments and suggestions from the panels will help the beneficiaries improve and complete what is lacking in their business plan to qualify on the lending programs of DA, Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) and other financing institutions.
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The rural improvement clubs (RICs) of the Cordillera region were challenged to keep improving their projects and contribute to the thrust of the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera (DA-CAR) towards food security.
In pursuit of implementing and enhancing their livelihood projects with support from the agency and the government as a whole, the RICs were also urged to be mindful of the common responsibility that they must share in feeding their communities and the nation.
This was highlighted during the RIC Convention last February 6-9 at the ATI-CAR, BSU Compound, La Trinidad Benguet, by DA-CAR Regional Technical Director Danilo P. Daguio. He represented the Regional Executive Director Narciso A. Edillo in the said convention.
The RIC is a non-government women organization technically assisted by the Agricultural Technician of a local government unit. It is a voluntary barangay-based organization, composed of 20-30 rural women with varied interests and capabilities and is mobilized for the implementation of socio-economic projects in the community.
Daguio said the RIC members, as a mothers in their homes were the one who assures that food must be served at the table which means they were the front liners in securing food.
Also from the message of RED Edillo, the department recognized the role of the women towards nation building and always as partner in development.
We value the strengths, capabilities, creativeness and resourcefulness of the RIC as a community-based association which serves to alleviate poverty and hunger, as well as the attainment of food security, RTD Daguio added.
He encouraged the members of the RIC to join the annual Gawad Saka Search with a sizable the prize that can also help them implement more livelihood projects for their members.
The theme of the said event was “Women key towards securing food for the home, community and the nation”.// Alfredo C. Canero III