First Agripreneur Summit

GO NEGOSYO - Joey Concepcion - The Philippine Star

After the stormy start of the Franchising Asia 2014 last week and the PLDT SME Nation’s Future Talks last Friday, which were both empowering to many entreps who attended, we now turn to our Agri Negosyo Summit that will be held tomorrow. We are praying that it won’t be a rainy Friday.  

In the past nine years, Go Negosyo has done over 60 big summits. Some were focused on a different sector and only cover some entrepreneurs from the agri sector, but it is only now that we have a much focused summit on agri business models.

What prompted us to focus on the agri sector is that we realized that the sector has tremendous potential waiting to be maximized.  About two thirds of the population live in agricultural areas. While only about 20 percent of GDP and 40 percent of total employment is accounted for by the sector, if we include the related agri-suppliers and agro-processing sector, its contribution could increase to 40 percent of GDP and 60 percent of total employment.  These numbers, therefore, tell us the huge multiplier effect and propensity for inclusive growth, benefitting more Filipinos.

As we encourage negosyos in the sector, we are not just after the basic production and traditional ways of doing things.  Rather, we wish to promote how we can generate greater productivity, higher production efficiencies, higher value-adding and processing that lead to higher margins and incomes.  Eventually, as we make more of the value-adding products, we increase the chance of differentiation, which eventually can lead to the power of branding and the power of higher valuations.  

We now see good examples such as the dried processed mangoes exported by Justin Uy’s Profoods to many countries, or Henry Lim Bon Liong’s higher yield varieties for rice crops, and for the first time popularizing a branded commodity such as his Doña Maria brands of glutinous rice we see in the supermarket, or the fast-growing branded feeds products and farm implements initiated by Joseph Calata of the Calata group, or high value-added coconut products aside from virgin coconut oils and ingredients to many wellness products, even the “buko” juice that’s making it big in the export market. They are good examples of how we can leverage on higher value agri-products that we all know can make the entrepreneurs more successful.  By the way, many of these were featured in our recent Go Negosyo book on agripreneurs.

Tomorrow, July 25, we shall be presenting the entrepreneurs behind all these successful ventures. They will be sharing how they started and will give relevant advice on how these ventures can be more meaningful. Aside from the financial returns, the ability of these entrepreneurs to mobilize farmer groups and provide a regular market for their produce, have resulted in a more encompassing kind of growth at the grassroots. The forums we are presenting tomorrow will definitely inspire and spark ideas for those wanting to have the dream farm in the future. We can then look forward to a negosyo where we can be satisfied and happy while making a reasonable profit in the end, with a chance of improving as well the lives of other people.

The Agri-Negosyo Summit will be at the World Trade Center, Pasay City. This will definitely be an enriching summit and we hope many would take advantage of the opportunities that will surely flow from the discussions and networking with the right stakeholders during the summit. 

We will be privileged to hear from the wisdom of esteemed agri-champions in government such as Sen. Cynthia Villar, Senate Committee Food and agriculture chair Sec. Kiko Pangilinan, whose also the presidential consultant on food security and agricultural modernization.

We will also have New Zealand Amb. Reuben Levermore who will share his country’s program in helping the agriculture sector. CARD-MRI founder and CEO Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip, agripreneurs such Joseph Calata, Henry Lim Bon Liong, Senen Bacani, among others will be present for our keynote forum.

Enablers will also join us in our summit and will share how their respective institutions can help farmers and fisherfolks through trainings, seminars, loans and insurances. We also have panellists from the technical and academic groups.

We will also be awarding the Most Inspiring Agripre-neurs 2014. The awardees were selected on the basis of their inspiring journey, and successful business models, higher-value products and processes, while making a positive impact in their respective communities. 

Let me cite the Go Negosyo Most Inspiring Agripre-neurs: Senen Bacani from La Frutera Inc., Tennyson Chen from Bounty Fresh Foods, Henry Lim Bon Liong from SL Agritech Corporation., Danilo Fausto of DVF Dairy Farm, Arsenio Barcelona of Harbest Agribusiness Corporation, Antonio and Jacqueline Alleje of Rizal Dairy Farm, Martin and Pilamar Ozaeta of Gemsun Marketing, Arestina Papillon of Pamora Farms, Jeffrey Lim of JSJ Goat Farm, Maximo Ricohermoso of MCPI Carrageenan and Neil Molina from JCDAF Dairy Farm.

 Foundations and associations are also commended for their efforts to help their farmer members. We are awarding them as the Most Inspiring Agri-enablers 2014. Included in the list are GreenEarth Heritage Foundation led by Dr. Mylene Matti and Philippine Biochar Association led by Philip Camara.

 We are looking forward to the summit. We are still inviting everyone to register to our website, www.gonegosyo.net or they can walk-in and register tomorrow at the venue.

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