ComVal to turn demo farm into ‘Farm University’

DAVAO CITY—Compostela Valley is planning to turn its commonly used demonstration farm in Barangay Pasian in Monkayo town into a Farm University and has sent selected personnel to the Enchanted Farm in Bulacan to observe how the latter has developed a showcase area for agriculture using advanced technology.

Gov. Jayvee Tyron Uy expressed his intention to make a Farm University in the province, as he also strengthened the local resettlement around the area to turn the families into caretakers of the future Farm University.

Gawad Kalinga (GK) Mindano Head Rene Reita has confirmed the selection of six scholars from the province under the School for Experiential and Entrepreneurial Development Philippines, sending them to study at the Enchanted Farm in Bulacan.

They were identified as Rickny Humoc,  Fortunato Pagador, Albert Calijan, Cristian Jay Baguio, Arbie Aniñon and Jay-arr Barbasa. The six would study “Agricultural Social Entrepreneurship” for two years in Bulacan.

Reita accompanied Uy and Vice Gov. Manuel Zamora to hand over 14 housing units to the beneficiary families around the proposed Farm University in Barangay Pasian in late-July.

The study on social entrepreneurship may fit well also to the thrust of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to encourage more Filipinos to engage in “agri-preneurship”.  The program would be supported by the technical expertise on agribusiness skills of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE)-Negosyo.

In late-July the DA and the PCE launched the Kapatid Agri Mentoring Program, a 12-week coaching session for micro and small entrepreneurs.

The mentoring would cover eight modules, including the Entrepreneurial Mind Setting and Values Formation and Marketing.

“The PCE will identify the mentors, while the DA will identify the mentees for the program. The Agricultural Training Institute would then conduct the Training Needs Assessment,” PCE-Go Kapatid Mentor Me resource speaker Victor Madlangbayan said.

DA-11 Regional Director Ricardo Oñate Jr. said the program was timely “since there is a need for the farmers to embrace change and go beyond mere producers of raw materials, but market their own products to improve their income.”

“As we promote value-chain and market-oriented agriculture, it’s time for our farmers to transform into agri-entrepreneurs,” Oñate said. “Mentoring is essential for them [farmers]. We need to improve their practices, techniques and teach them how to become successful agripreneurs.”

The mentoring program would also work to separately match the agri-enterprise skills of the graduates with big companies “and eventually upscale agri micro, small and medium enterprises”, the DA said.

 

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