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Be Organic Agripreneurs, Farmers in WV Told

Be Organic Agripreneurs, Farmers in WV Told by Ramon Peñalosa

“Be agripreneurs. There’s money in organic farming.”

This was the call of established agripreneur and organic farming practitioner Ramon Dayrit Peñalosa, Jr. when he talked on “Business Opportunities in Organic Farming” at the 1st Regional Techno Gabay Summit and TechnoMart in Iloilo City.

Peñalosa, a Magsasaka-Siyentista (MS) of the Farmers’ Information and Technology Services (FITS) Center of Negros Occidental, urged fellow farmers to think of farming as a business venture. “As farmers, we should be entrepreneurs,” he said.

“Create the demand, satisfy the demand,” was his challenge to TechnoMart participants that included fellow farmer-scientists, technology and marketing experts, and representatives of the academe and the 56 Farmers’ Information and Technology Services (FITS) Centers under the auspices of the Western Visayas Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (WESVARRDEC).

TechnoMart is one the components of Pinoy S&T (science and technology) Services, a banner program of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (PCARRD-DOST), that will bring S&T-based products from the farm to the market, farm to kitchen, and farm to table.

“Mon”, as he is fondly called by family, friends and the agri-business circle, said natural farming is a global irreversible concern in all fields of business because it has grown to more than US$80 billion annually from only $20 billion five years ago.

“People are reacting against synthetics for health and environmental reasons. Going natural is the wave of the future,” he said.

“It’s doable. Mother Nature and Father Business can rock-and-roll in a natural, sustainable, and replicable way,” he added.

Mon said Negros Island which has started to convert 10% of its agricultural lands to organic is on its way to being the top producer of organic products and eventually, the “Organic Bowl of Asia”. (vishia tolcidas-WESVARRDEC Regional Applied Communications)