Nine agribusinesses with their representatives were trained on how to prepare a business plan through a workshop-seminar conducted by Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) CALABARZON on March 12 – 15, 2019 in Lucena City, Quezon.
These agricultural firms were participants of Agribusiness Support for Promotion and Investment in Regional Expositions (ASPIRE) launched last September 2018 in CALABARZON region wherein they had an opportunity to sell and promote their products. They were Lime Tree Farm, MF Quilala, Passion Fruit and Vegetable Marketing Association of Lucban, Cacao Growers’ Association of San Antonio, Sarah Enterprises, RIC Mamala II, Flor and Daisy’s Agricultural Farm, Silang Cacao Growers, and Paras Integrated Farm.
“Through our training needs assessment among agricultural stakeholders, it turned out that they need financing assistance and are not yet equipped with knowledge in the development of a simple business plan or proposal which is a requirement of funding institutions. Thus, to help upgrade their current system and develop agro-enterprises, we are conducting this kind of activity,” AMAD Chief Editha M. Salvosa explained.
For the participants to become more knowledgeable of their own business, the industry, and the market environment in which their business operates, different topics were discussed by the business development specialists and officers of the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) I-REAP Component such as business plan template, operations plan, financial plan, and marketing and organizational plan. Credit/loan programs for agri-entrepreneurs were also discussed by Landbank of the Philippines, Development Bank of the Philippines, and Agricultural Credit Policy Council as a government agricultural financing window.
Business plan drafts were the outputs of the participants. These were presented by them and critiqued by business development specialists and officers of I-REAP, and technical staff of AMAD. Towards the end of the workshop, they presented their action plans and its implementation within the 10-year period (2019 – 2029).
For some of the agri-entrepreneurs, completing a business plan can be a time-consuming activity, but well worth the effort. Some of them said, “The planning process pushes us to systematically consider all facets of our business…It helps us look at the business as a whole and make better-informed decisions…The plan provides a well-defined direction for our business…”
A seminar on enterprise development will also be conducted by AMAD as one of the components of ASPIRE, supporting small enterprises to become more productive, competitive and sustainable. • ARC