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Pagkakitaan ang lupa! Cynthia Villar urges farm owners to become agri-preneurs

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Senator Cynthia Villar on Friday urged farm owners to engage in agri-entrepreneurship as she stressed the relevance of the growing farm business industry in the government’s continuing fight against hunger and poverty.

“This new agricultural trend is envisioned to be a tool to boost the earnings of farm owners and cooperatives,” Villar told graduates of the first batch of this year’s Farm Business School (FBS) of the Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (SIPAG).

“It is a sad reality that incomes from farming have not proportionately increased despite a more aggressive demand for food in every Filipino family’s table,” said Villar, also chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food.

“You need to find alternative sources to boost your financial sufficiency,” the senator told them.

The 10-day training, which was launched on February 26, was attended by 32 farm owners and members of farmers associations and cooperatives from the National Capital Region (NCR), Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, Occidental Mindoro, Sorsogon, Camarines Norte and Albay.

They were awarded their certificates of training completion last March 9 at the City of Springs in Los Baños, Laguna.

Villar urged the graduates to apply their new knowledge and skills to start their own farm businesses or to better manage and make more profitable their existing farm business ventures.

“We all need to help ourselves. We have to use our existing resources and enhance our self-sufficiency to make the lives of our families better and our children’s future brighter,” she said.

“Your government can only do so much to help you. You have to take the next step to reach the next ring of the ladder,” she added.

The FBS is a joint undertaking of the Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (SIPAG) and the Agricultural Training Institute of the Department of Agriculture Region 1V-A.

It is a comprehensive training program offered by the Villar SIPAG which seeks to expand revenues from the agriculture sector through the use of innovative techniques on proper farm handling.

It teaches participants market-oriented strategies that would allow farmers to develop their capacity to operate successful farm businesses.

During the training, attendees were taught the various components of farm business schools, such as farm production and marketing plan, and financial plan, and risk management; and the concept of farm business profitability.

The attendees also visited different farm tourism sites and farm schools in nearby provinces.

Villar, who authored the “Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016” or Republic Act 10816, is a strong advocate of turning farm areas into special tourism attractions.