Sustainable growth through agriculture

Go Negosyo model farm in Ganassi, Lanao del Sur celebrated the graduation of 180 farmer-trainees last March 3.

From our recent meeting with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) commander H. Abdullah Assadulah Macapaar, or commonly known as Commander Bravo last Feb. 20 and 22, which was attended by Go Negosyo partners and stakeholders, we expressed our full support to the peace process through our agriculture and livelihood programs in different areas of Mindanao. This is because we believe that poverty alleviation through entrepreneurship is the key to long-lasting peace and development in the area. As we pursue inclusive growth, we also keep our Muslim brothers and sisters in mind.

Go Negosyo conducted a four-day event to highlight all our initiatives to achieve food self-sufficiency and generate livelihood opportunities in the communities in Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte. Go Negosyo was well represented by Go Negosyo adviser for agripreneurship Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar.

The model farm in Ganassi Lanao del Sur celebrated their harvest festival with the 180 farmer-trainees who also graduated from our agricultural training program. Since 2017, we have established several model farms such as Baloi Lanao Del Norte — MBA Farms, Ditsaan Ramain Lanao del Sur — Barlin Farms, Sagonsongan Marawi City model farm, Bubong Lanao del Sur SL hybrid rice farm, and  Ramain Lanao del Sur SL hybrid rice farm.

With the support of the British Embassy, we also launched another model farm in Munai Lanao del Norte. Two hundred farmer-trainees are expected to start their agriculture training on Monday, March 11. The ceremony was attended by Munai Mayor Maquiling, MILF administrator Isa Bato, and BTA member/commissioner Said Sheik.

Our partner Kennemer Foods Corp. also had their site validation and farmers orientation for the upcoming cacao model farms that we are working on. Cacao is a high-value commodity due to the increasing consumption of chocolate. Through Kennemer’s contract growing program, an inclusive business model, which enables farmers to sell their produce directly to Kennemer, every farmer will have a sustainable income for many years. We are grateful for Kennemer as they share in the advocacy of helping our farmers through these agriculture programs.

During the engagements, I was honored to receive recognition from the Maranao people of Munai, Lanao del Norte through Mayor Casan Maquiling. But the recognition should go to the big brother partners who are helping our brothers in Lanao like Bo’s Coffee, Kennemer, the British Embassy, Rotary 3860, Swiping, William Belo, and many others. Ginggay and our team are committed to helping Commander Bravo and his community. It’s still a long journey, but now with a clearer pathway, we are headed toward a peaceful and inclusive Mindanao.

This year, we will mark the 14th year of Go Negosyo. As we embark on another year, we have touched thousands of MSMEs through our 3Ms (money, market and mentorship) advocacy across the Philippines. We continuously promote entrepreneurship through mentorship and agri-livelihood programs as it is the mandate of President Duterte to bring inclusive growth and prosperity to all Filipinos.

As part of our program in Mindanao – now one of the biggest contributors to the country’s agro-products, we continue to help the region in our full capacity. We look forward to the day when communities in Mindanao are self-sustainable and are experiencing prosperity.

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Tomorrow is the big day as we launch the biggest digital summit — the Youth Entrepreneurship Summit at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. In partnership with the US Embassy, the summit aims to inspire the youth through the presentation of real life business stories and milestones of techpreneurs, and how these industry players capitalized digital transformation in jump-starting their business ventures. We will have top of the line speakers to enlighten the youth about innovation and digitalization.

Our theme, “Yes! Angat Lahat sa Digital: Para sa Kabataan at Maliit na Negosyante,” is specifically curated to highlight that digitalization is pro-poor that would initiate inclusive growth across all sectors, including the youth and micro and small entrepreneurs.

We have a great line-up of speakers from different digital platforms including Grab, Lazada, Shopee, Angkas, Honestbee, and many more!