Thirty-six farmers from Sibula Agrarian Reform Community (ARC) here participated in the Farm Business School (FBS) for the second batch of farmer-beneficiaries conducted by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Misamis Occidental.
A simple launching ceremony capped by the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer II Alibasa G. Andig of DAR and Mayor Michael P. Gutierrez of Lopez Jaena town at Barangay Sibula marked the start of the seminar.
During the MOA signing, Andig encouraged the farmers especially the agrarian reform beneficiaries to fully utilize their farmlands and produce more not only for home consumption but as a source of family income. In the same event, Mayor Gutierrez assured the participants that the LGU will provide them technical, financial and market support for their proposed high-value vegetable production.
Farm Business School, which is a three-month farm management training program focusing on farming as a business enterprise, is an undertaking of the DAR under the Technical Advisory Support Services supported by the said municipality.
This training, which consists of twenty-five modules, aims to help the farmer-participants build knowledge and skills to make their farm more profitable.
“It’s like we’re back to school and we learned a lot of things in the training” said Ernesto Dulalas, a farmer leader, and manager of the Sibula Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative who is an active participant of the training. “Farming is really like running a business. It’s not just the farm technology, we have to consider also all the resources needed, the production cost and more important there is available market for our produced”, he added.
The farmer participants became more enthusiastic on their proposed high-value vegetable production after a farm visit activity. DAR training facilitator and municipal point person Nida Olarte took them to high value vegetable farms in Tudela municipality that served as their learning site.
At least one hectare of high-value vegetable farm in six different sites will be initially developed by the FBS farmer-participants in Sibula ARC. High value crops that will be planted includes eggplant, bell pepper, sweet potato, ampalaya, string beans, tomato, cucumber, papaya, ginger, okra, corn, squash, kangkong, pechay, and various root crops.
Farm Business School started in Aug. 2016.