FBS Seen as the Newest Extension Modality as Project Culminates its Two-year Pilot Implementation

FBS National Congress for Filipino Farmers

QUEZON City – In the two years that the Farm Business School (FBS) was implemented in the two pilot provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija, a total of 1,615 farmers have been capacitated in entrepreneurship and market access. These farmers now belong to a select-few market oriented farmers who are experts not only on crop production but also in marketing their products.

Through the collaboration of the Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI), DA-Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Services (AMAS), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO-UN) the Farm Business School (FBS) is implemented under the project “Capacity Building of Small Farmers in Entrepreneurship Development and Market Access.”

As the project concludes its two-year implementation, a National Conference on FBS was conducted that served as a venue for the presentation of accomplishment, sharing of experience and a workshop highlighting the cascading of FBS in the regions.

During the activity ATI Director Asterio P. Saliot who also is the project national coordinator acknowledge the importance of FBS in capacitating the Filipino farmers. “Aside from capacitating our farmers in producing crop, they should also be capacitated in terms of negotiating their products in the market,” Saliot said.

Likewise, Saliot informed the participants that a bill is already filed in the congress “to strengthen FBS and be institutionalized as one of the extension modalities for agriculture and fisheries.”

Part of the National Congress on FBS was a sharing of various experiences and stories from farmer-participants, facilitators as well as from the local government unit (LGU). FBS project team leader Gomer Tumbali on the other hand presented the project’s accomplishments, lessons learned and recommendations. He said that FAO mission have also developed concept notes on cascading FBS in the regions.

Hon. Ruth Padilla, governor of Nueva Vizcaya graced the event and shared her experience in supporting the FBS since her province is one of the pilot areas. “I firmly believed in FBS because our farmers where capacitated in market-oriented approach of farming, “Padilla said.

The national congress also feature a workshop on cascading FBS in the regions. This workshop serve as the “next steps” of the project and to firmly institutionalize FBS as an extension modality. ATI is currently leading the cascading of FBS in the regions with 27 regional trainers and 272 facilitators have been trained.

Among the guest who attended the congress included DAR secretary Virgilio R. de los Reyes, DA undersecretary for operations Emerson U. Palad and FAO representative Aristeo Portugal.

The National Congress on Farm Business School for Filipino Farmers was held December 1, 2014 at the Luxent Hotel, Quezon City.