The Department of Agriculture-Cordillera (DA-CAR), through its Research Division, took a significant step towards fostering innovation and growth in the agricultural sector in the region through the introduction of the technology business incubation (TBI).
A prerequisite for this initiative, however, is a feasibility study. That’s why DA-CAR conducted a focus group discussion (FGD) activity on Sept. 15, 2023 at DA-CAR, Baguio City.
The agency invited different farmer cooperatives and associations (FCAs) and Young Farmers Challenge (YFC) awardees from Baguio City and Benguet for the FGD to assess the needs of their enterprises. The data gathered from the discussion will help DA-CAR to assess the feasibility of TBI.
TBI, which is well-established in the tech industry, is now being harnessed to drive progress in agriculture. Once the incubation facility has been fully established, it will become a supportive ecosystem where budding agricultural entrepreneurs, especially for start-up ventures, can receive different interventions like mentorship, resources, and infrastructure to transform their innovative ideas into a viable agri-enterprise.
In fact, the initiative has already been up and running in DA-Cagayan Valley.
During the FGD, the FCAs and the young farmers were given a questionnaire to easily facilitate the data gathering. The questionnaire contains the different services the TBI will be offering once it is operational.
Among the services the participants wished to enroll are workshops on financial management, feasibility study and business plan writing, social media and digital marketing, and technology demonstrations, as well as access to farm equipment and machinery, transportation, and facilities. They also wanted to have a linkage with different markets and trade fairs.
Although initially unfamiliar with the concept of TBI, the attendees exhibited keen interest and optimism about the potential it holds for their agricultural ventures.
One participant who expressed their interest is Marilyn Peningeo of the Itogon Integrated Organic Farmers Organization.
“This is our first time to hear about TBI. So, it is not questionable that we are all here. We responded to the invitation and that shows that we are very interested,” Peningeo said.
She also acknowledged the presence of the young farmers and she plans to tap their assistance since they are well adept with the emerging technologies in farming.
“We are also very thankful that we’re invited here because we will also learn from these young people. We need their assistance because they are the ones who know the technology,” she added. By JBPeralta