Here at Tagaytay Living, we believe that agri-business is the way to go. Investing in agricultural projects goes a long way towards not just our own food security, but also as viable business ventures for forward-thinking entrepreneurs.
At the recent Agri-Negosyo Summit of Go Negosyo, Secretary Francis Pangilinan of the Presidential Consultant on Food Security and Agricultural Modernization encouraged Filipinos to invest in the agriculture industry.
Go Negosyo Agri-Negosyo Summit (GNAS) aimed to present various business models from farming, fishing, and animal rising. The event recognized inspiring agricultural entrepreneurs oragripreneurs who have significantly contributed to their communities’ development.
According to a research, almost 12 million Filipinos or 60% of the population work in the agricultural sector. Yet agricultural products made up only 8.3% of total Philippine commodity exports and the country’s agricultural exports were the smallest of the five members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with only 5.4%, next to Singapore with 10.1%.
Secretary Pangilinan stated that Filipinos should embrace agriculture because Philippines is an agricultural country. He also said that if someone wanted to succeed, they have to delve into agri-business.
“Agri-businesses especially farming could take two to four years before it becomes profitable. It is a very risky investment but once the time comes that you’re going to harvest your products, your hardships would suddenly become worth it,” he said.
He cited one of the awardees for his exemplary goal to make an eco-tourism farm, which was later realized for his farm, was recognized by the Department of Tourism (DOT) as the first agri-tourism destination.
“Farmers and agripreneurs have to be like-minded with Ronald Costales of the Costales Nature Farms. From a small farm he now produces 10 tons of lettuce a month which he sold for P100 per kilo. Also he is not just earning money from his products but also from the farm itself. According to him, almost half of his revenues came from his 3,000 guests a month to visit his eco-tourism farm,” Secretary Pangilinan said.
The Secretary also shared that Costales would not be able to reach his goals if he did not carefully plan his actions and activities. Like any other businesses, farming needs extra care from farmers. He also encouraged farmers to use organic farming practices.
“Some of our farmers experience 67% of damaged products because of incorrect handling of the products from the farm to our tables,” he said.
According to Secretary Pangilinan, they encountered farmers from different parts of the country who do not use proper equipment when transporting their products especially vegetables. As a result, farmers have to lower prices due to damaged products.
Though many farmers are facing difficult and different challenges while transporting, labor, and other production costs, Secretary Pangilinan believes that once they discover correct farming practices and techniques on how to run their agricultural business, everything will fall into place and they will succeed.
(Article by Mae Escarin for Loqal.ph.)