A total of one male and 15 female students have completed the Farmer Business School in Duytac Barangay Hall, Pacso, Kabayan, Benguet on March 18, 2016. Within March up to December of last year, the graduates have learned to add more value to their produce through processing the raw product, improving the packaging, and marketing.
Before being Farmer Business school students, the 16 residents of Pacso, Kabayan Benguet spend their days doing household duties and helping their family members in the farm. Mrs. Marlene Torres, Parents of Persons with Disabilities (PPWD) chairwoman and FBS graduate recollects: “dati karamihan sa amin mga housewife, ang inaatupag namin tulungan ang mga asawa namin sa gardening. Pag minsan mga laborers din kami.” (Before, many of us are full time housewives, what we do is we help our husbands in gardening and sometimes we are also laborers.)
With the help of 2nd Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management Project (CHARMP2), the Farmer Business School course started on March, 2015 and within 9 months the residents were able to learn new ways to market their farm produce. Mrs. Felicitas Poatan, another graduate says: “dahil sa FBS nadagdagan kami ng innovation at creativity” (because of FBS our innovation and creativity has been enhanced) Mrs. Torres adds: “natutunan din naming mag package at mag advertise at tsaka yung pagmamarketing” (we also learned how to package, advertise and do marketing).
On March 18, 2016; the students were finally able to formally graduate as a ceremony was held in Dutac Barangay Hall, Pacso, Kabayan, Benguet. CHARMP2 project manager Cameron P. Odsey personally congratulated the graduates. According to him the FBS was the next step after production, “No nalpas tun nga nagiproduce ti farmer ti problema na ket uray nu napintas diyay inapit na ket marigatan tadta nga mangilako so daytoy farmer business school isu ti sungbat ti dayta nga sitwasyon. Ta dyad farmer, adalen na ti parti ti business farming nga sakbay ng agimula ket panunuten nan nu sadino ti pangilakuan na.” (When the farmer finishes his production, his problem is that even if his produce is of good quality, selling it would be difficult because the farmer, he learns the business aspect of farming wherein before planting he thinks where to sell them later.)
As of the present the products are being sold not only within Pacso but also in Poblacion, Kabayan. The graduates plan on continuing to apply what they have learned. Mrs Torres concludes, “magtatanim pa uli kami at ipapackage uli namin para magkaroon kami ng puhunan na pang expand namin ng negosyo.” (We will still plant and package our products so that we can have our capital for expanding our business)//
by: Arianne Robea Nebrida/CHARMP2