More Bicolano farmers gain access to DAR’s biz schools

More farmers in the Bicol Region now have the opportunity to learn how to do business in agriculture as the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) recently launched its 10th Farm Business School (FBS) site in the province of Sorsogon.

FBS aims to help farmer-beneficiaries become entrepreneurs by boosting their entrepreneurial skills.

DAR Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer (PARPO) Nida A. Santiago said the project would help farmers in their production and marketing activities.

Through the FBS, DAR is also encouraging farmers to form small groups to build their collective capacity to produce for the market and adequately respond to the market demands with the aim of generating profits.

“We want to make their farms profitable and make them understand the ins and outs of business so that they can respond to market challenges,” she said.

Sorsogon PARPO Liza B. Repotente shared how the FBS has thrived through the years, relaying that the office values the ARBOs and ARBs response to the challenges of welcoming a new support intervention.

“We will remain steadfast in exploring new ways how to bring more services to our farmers, especially our ARBs. We will be with them every step of the way,” Repotente explained.

She disclosed that this is the 10th FBS site in Sorsogon. In 2017, the pilot sites in Castilla and Bulan were launched. It was followed by a site in Juban in 2018, three sites launched in Juban, Irosin, and Matnog in 2019, a lone site launched in Casiguran in 2020 and finally, two sites were launched in 2021 in Sta. Magdalena and Sorsogon City.

Repotente said the Capuy-Basud Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CABAMUCO) in Capuy, Sorsogon is the identified recipient of the FBS for 2022.

“In Sorsogon City, CABAMUCO is the 2nd site of FBS. This milestone is significant not only for DAR but for the local government of Sorsogon,” she added.

FBS Facilitator Jicelle Escanilla said the program has thirty-five enrollees. DAR-Sorsogon ensured that the CABAMUCO members could avail of 25 FBS sessions to learn the ropes of entrepreneurship.

CABAMUCO Chairman Rodolfo L. Bonete Jr. expressed his gratitude to the DAR for the opportunity to be selected as the recipient of the program.

“We know that the DAR and the LGU will not abandon us. We promise that whatever help and guidance are given to us, we will take care of it as a form of appreciation.

The farmer-students will undergo 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.