By Phil Muslims
ISULAN, Sultan Kudarat — Thirty farmer-members of the Saranay Farmers’ Association of Malingon in President Quirino, Sultan Kudarat, graduated from the Farm Business School (FBS) of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) during a ceremony recently held here.
DAR-Sultan Kudarat Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer May Jane Aguilar said the FBS aims to develop agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) to become agricultural entrepreneurs.
“We want to make their farms profitable and make them understand the ins and outs of business so that they can respond to market challenges,” Aguilar said.
Aguilar added that building up the capabilities of agrarian cooperatives in handling and marketing their farm products is among the priorities of the DAR.
“The knowledge and skills we gained from this program will surely serve as our steppingstone to transform the land awarded to us into a fruitful, progressive and sustainable farm that will benefit our families and the future generation,” said FBS graduate Glenda Abubo.
DAR support services division chief Rhea Marie Betque said the FBS program is a unique educational system designed to help farmers learn and improve their knowledge and skills in entrepreneurship and farm business management.
She said 19 females and 11 males graduated from the 25-session program which started last April 6 and lasted until July of this year.
“The school trained them on various entrepreneurial skills and advance farming practices so they can properly manage their produce as they go out in the market,” Betque said.
FBS coordinator Mary Joy Labanero said the student-farmers underwent a curriculum including assessing their current farm situation, devising a farm business plan and how to translate that plan into action, making their farms profitable, by managing their own farm business.
“The participants gave clear visions and goals on what their farm should be and thought of ways to make those plans into a reality,” said Labanero.
DAR, in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture, initiated the FBS which also teaches farmers essential matters on bookkeeping, cash flows, market surveys, selling and costing and proper packaging of their products. (PR)