_MG_0362About 1,000 farmers learned agricultural entrepreneurship during the dry season Lakbay Palay hosted by PhilRice, March 30-31.

With the theme Ang magsasakang madiskarte, negosyante, the event aims to prepare farmers to be ‘agripreneurs’ and taught them the various rice-based production systems in which they could earn additional income.

The Institute invited Leticia Basubas, owner of MSC Food Products to inspire farmers to venture in agricultural entrepreneurship and teach them basic marketing principles related to farming as a business.

Basubas is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country for selling rice-based products such as rice coffee and tea. Her company has also explored processing herbal plants into different products.

During the program, she reminded the farmers that in doing business, they need to be “persevering and honest.”

“What gives me inspiration as an entrepreneur is the fact that I am able to help the community by providing employment to those who need it,” she added.

1MSC products are sold in different outlets of a popular mall chain in the country. Basubas also revealed that they are now accepting visitors in their farm for educational tour purposes.

Meanwhile, PhilRice’s Palayamanan Plus has used strategies to transform farmers from rice producers to agripreneurs. During the field tour, farmers were briefed on various rice-based enterprises such as mushroom and vermiculture production that could help boost and diversify their income.

Other sites that were visited by the farmers during the tour include the FutureRice Farm, farm machinery demo, Palayabangan: The 10-5 Challenge, breeder seed production, azolla production, and the Rice Science Museum.

Lakbay-Palay is a PhilRice major activity done during the dry and wet seasons. It gathers thousands of farmers as well as students, researchers, and decision makers from different parts of the country.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute