Iloilo agrarian reform beneficiaries graduate from Farm Business School

69 AGRARIAN Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) in Iloilo Province have graduated from the Farm Business School (FBS) of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), held last week in the municipalities of Dumangas (June 13, 2019) and San Dionisio (June 14).

The graduates include 37 farmer members of Dumangas Agrarian Reform Cooperative in Dumangas, Iloilo and the 32 farmers of CAPISAN Agrarian Reform Cooperative in San Dionisio, Iloilo.

They all received Certificates of Completion.

Outstanding graduates were also recognized including four in Dumangas – Nestor Deala, Marilou Catunao, Francisco Paras and Victoria Toledo- and three in San Dionisio – Rodrigo Bales, Jr., Joeben Selerio, and Flordeluz Hipolito.

The graduates were taught modern farming practices and basic business concepts for 25 sessions, with 2 sessions on good agricultural practices and workshop on soil testing and analysis using soil testing with fertilizer recommendation.

The sessions in Dumangas started from March 6 to June 4, 2019; while in San Dionisio, on March 7 to May 29, 2019.

They learned how to build knowledge, enhance skills and adjust attitudes to make their vegetable farms more profitable and sustainable.

The Farm Business School is a forum or venue that brings farmers together to carry out collective and collaborative inquiry to address business and marketing problems and opportunities.

The project covers the FBS organization and management, capacity development, tracking, assessment, learning and knowledge sharing, market survey, benchmarking and process review.

In her speech during the culminating activity at Balabag, Dumangas, Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer (PARPO) II Lucrecia S. Taberna emphasized “the concept learned, capacity building and the knowledge of running small farm lots awarded by DAR not only through farming but in developing them to become entrepreneurs so that they themselves can take control of the market price of their products rather than the buyers dictating them.”

Taberna said that a lot of economic opportunities will be opened in Dumangas because of agriculture, fishing and the presence of the port which leads to market opportunities.

Dumangas Mayor Ronaldo B. Golez encouraged the farmers to plant more vegetables to cater to international shipping crew who will arrive in the town when the international seaport opens

San Dionisio Mayor Larry C. Villanueva also congratulated the FBS graduates in their town.

Taberna said DAR does not only capacitate farmers in farming and production but they are also being molded to become entrepreneurs.

“They already know how to access the market. They will not anymore be dictated by the prices but they will dictate the price of their products,” she added.

Rodrigo Bales Jr., one of the outstanding graduates from San Dionisio, Iloilo, thanked DAR and partner agencies for bringing FBS to their community.

A mini agri-trade fair during the culminating activities displayed the agricultural products of the FBS graduates.