DILIMAN, Quezon City – A new set of innovative, agriculture-oriented, and like-minded individuals from the 25 different community-based urban agriculture gardens from Caloocan City and Quezon City is now branded as the core team of agripreneurship educators and trainers of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI).
These individuals have recently completed the Urban Agri-Negosyo: Training on Agripreneurship and Value-adding for Urban Agriculture Coordinators, which was held at the Uma Verde Econature Farm, Inc., in Candelaria, Quezon.
The three-day training was rendered to provide an opportunity for the community gardens to harness their skills, and upscale their economic activities in a more strategic and directed approach. More importantly, it was envisioned that the trainees would form part of the pool of technical and open-handed educators and demonstrators of urban agro-entrepreneurship practices.
During the opening activity, OIC-Chief Nemielynn Pangilinan of the ATI-Partnership and Accreditation Division welcomed the participants with the challenge to cascade the training to their home organizations with a firm commitment, as well as to inspire action to their community members, towards breeding a cadre of responsible and agro-entrepreneurially-conscious individuals.
Facilitated by Uma Verde Econature Farms President and Chief Operating Officer Kritine A. Ramos, modules on agripreneurship, the farmer as an entrepreneur, the basic concepts of farm business profitability, the practice of recordkeeping, and marketing strategies were tackled during the training. As a leader of one of the most productive Learning Sites for Agriculture (LSA) accredited by ATI in Quezon Province, Ramos’ discussions provided practical examples on agro-entreprenurship, which the participants easily related to.
One of the participants, Thessa Claveria from the Local Government Unit of Caloocan City, showcased an urban garden within the city hall’s compound. She believed that the training is a boost in sustaining their operations. “The training is full of learning, [on] how to handle agribusiness which is relevant in urban agriculture. The discussions [on] record keeping and the types or marketing strategies are very helpful to sustain our garden needs…to have diverse clientele and larger returns.,” Claveria added.
On the other hand, Giles Bantilan, a teacher and urban garden coordinator at San Gabriel Elementary School in Quezon City, took the training with optimism and enthusiasm. “This is one of the most important trainings which can help me as a coordinator of Gulayan sa Paaralan in our school,” says Bantilan. ”The training will surely help diversify our marketing strategies, thus will expand our reach,” he added.
For Grace Park Elementary School (GPES) in Caloocan, School Principal Analiza Labuac also highly valued how the learning experience transpired for the participants. She aspired for the GPES to become the first LSA in their city, and through the training, she saw that learning this competency for the agriculture value chain made them more ready and equipped. “The training…was very timely and crucial for us urban agriculture coordinators,” Labuac noted.
The training was conducted last April 26 to 28, 2023 and will later be assessed on the impacts of the participants’ action steps in their respective communities.