Kapatid Agri Mentor Me

Photo Caption: Go Negosyo and Department of Agriculture sealed their partnership for the Kapatid Agri Mentor Me Program (KAMMP) (In photo L-R Ginggay Hontiveros, Go Negosyo Adviser on Agripreneurship, Dr. William Dar, Go Negosyo Adviser, Presidential Adviser Joey Concepcion, Sec. Manny Pinol, Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, DA Undersecretary for Marketing, and Luz Tapusok, Director of Agricultural Training Institute).

In our mission to mentor all entrepreneurs in different sectors, we are forging partnerships with different institutions and government offices to reach even the low-lying communities of the country. Agriculture is one of the sectors I personally want to equip and empower. Why? Because as an agricultural country, I know that we have the resources and the market for crops and agri products. We are also blessed with farmers and fishermen who work hard to provide us with the food we see in markets.

This is why we need to mentor them. We need them to improve their practices, teach them techniques, and introduce them to agricultural technologies. And hopefully, their sons and daughters prepared with an enterprising mindset will become the next successful agripreneurs.

Last Monday, Go Negosyo sealed its partnership with the Department of Agriculture led by Sec. Manny Piñol. This has been in the works since we launched the Kapatid, Angat Lahat program in August 2016. Under this partnership, we are launching the Kapatid Agri Mentor Me Program (KAMMP) which applies the same model of Kapatid Mentor Me, a 12-week coaching session for micro and small entrepreneurs.

KAMMP wishes to take the same proven and enabling formula as the KMME and apply it to the context of Agripreneurs. The DA is mandated to promote agricultural development by providing the policy framework, public investments, and support services needed for domestic and export-oriented business enterprises. Thus, KAMMP was developed with Go Negosyo as a coaching program for Agriculture as a complement to the DA’s initiatives to help sustain and scale up Agri-business in the country.

The program’s modules will be taught by Agri-business Industry practitioners with an extensive knowledge in their field. The objectives of the program are to equip Agripreneurs and farmers with the proper production techniques, mindset and values, practical knowledge and strategies, and consultation services to foster successful and sustainable agri-enterprises. Mentees for the program will be selected from farmers’ cooperatives by the respective Regional Directors of the DA.

During the signing ceremony, we were joined by Merly Cruz, Adviser for MSME Development, and Ginggay Hontiveros, Adviser for Agripreneurship. Also present were Go Negosyo Agri Mentors led by Dr. William Dar, Henry Lim Bon Liong, Toto Barcelona, Pamela Chan, Flor Tarriela, Mike Caballes, Cherrie Atilano, Vix Madlangbayan, Sandy Montano, Babie Atanacio, Mat Maderazo and Bobby Amores.  The Department of Agriculture is represented by Secretary Manny Piñol, together with Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan of Operations and Undersecretary Berna Romulo Puyat of Marketing. Also present to witness the signing is the Director for ATI Ms. Luz Tapusok and members of the ATI, AFID and AMAS teams. ATI is integral to the implementation of the KAMMP program in all regions of the country.

The MOU Signing was followed with a discussion by the two parties for several initiatives of agri development in the countryside, as well as the proposed ASEAN Agri Summit slated for October 2017.

We are excited to share this good news to our farmers! With this program, we wish for a stronger agri sector in the coming years equipped not only with the positive entrepreneurial mindset but also with agricultural knowledge and equipment.

Prior to this official partnership, we have been collaborating with Sec. Piñol and his team for some projects including the linkage of onion farmers to big brothers. Last February, farmers from Bongabon Nueva Ecija met with some representatives of the big companies to share their plights and offer their produce to them. Like big brothers, companies were quick to extend their support to Sec. Piñol and the farmers. SM Group and Robinsons among others are continuously offering the local onions in their supermarkets because of this coordination. We are working on bringing more vegetables and fruits to the nearest groceries, and cutting the unnecessary processes in the value chain.

Apart from this, our Sulu Project is mainly because of Sec. Piño. He was the one who tapped us to make the programs in Sulu a reality. When President Duterte asked Sec. Piñol to create development programs in Sulu, Sec. Piñol asked me to help thus the birth of the Sulu Project. With the outpouring support of the big brothers, we already had groundbreaking ceremonies last month to start the construction of classrooms and houses in different areas of the province.

With the full support now of DA, we hope to bring more livelihood and micro and small entrepreneurship development programs to our agri players. There are a lot of successful entrepreneurs who found greener pastures in agriculture and we want to create more successful agripreneurs. Together, DA and Go Negosyo will bring prosperity to our agriculture community!