(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, 22 May 2024) Easterlies affecting the country. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—˜π—”π—§π—›π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Easterlies. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—œπ—‘π—— 𝗔𝗑𝗗 π—–π—’π—”π—¦π—§π—”π—Ÿ π—ͺπ—”π—§π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Light to moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.1 meters).

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Agusan Sur coffee farmers learn business strategies through ‘EntreFarm game’

By Jennifer Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY (PIA) – The coffee-producing farmers in Agusan del Sur are now engaged in a more fun and learning experience while taking steps to enhance their livelihood and expand their businesses through the “Entrefarm Game.” 

This initiative is facilitated by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Agusan del Sur through the Rural Agro-Enterprise Partnership for Inclusive Development and Growth (RAPID Growth) Project. 

The “Entrefarm Game,” as a series of entrepreneurial development trainings, goes beyond the usual way of provid aing learning sessions to the farmer beneficiaries.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Agusan del Sur Provincial Office, through the Rural Agro-Enterprise Partnership for Inclusive Development and Growth (RAPID Growth) Project, intensified the series of entrepreneurial development trainings using the Entrefarm Game for farmer beneficiaries in the province. Photo courtesy of DTI-Agusan del Sur.

According to Provincial Director Marson Dolendo of DTI-Agusan del Sur, the goal was to enhance the entrepreneurial knowledge and skills of the coffee farmers in the province. 

“Participants in these capacity-building activities include the 34 members of the San Jose Maasin Coffee Farmers Association (SMACOFA) and 28 members of the Hillstribe Economic Development Farmers Association (HEDFA),” he said.

Dolendo added that the DTI supports the welfare of the farmers; hence, various activities and trainings are being initiated to benefit the sector in the province, making them more productive and competitive.

“EntreFarm focuses on the agriculture industry. Participants in this fun game are divided into 'families' with equal amounts of cash and resources. They will go through the basic production cycle: negotiation with middlemen, formation of a cooperative, manufacturing and value-adding, and exportation. The lessons to be extracted from this game are endless, as different participants will have different strategies and decisions. Everything they do in the game will affect the outcome and lessons of the game,” explained Dolendo.

The training took place in two different areas, namely, Barangay San Juan Bayugan City and Sitio San Jose in Barangay Maasin, Esperanza.

Elsie Sag-od, a coffee farmer from Barangay. San Juan, Bayugan City, expressed elation at the relevance of the training to their own livelihood. 

“Gana kaayo sha sir, kay mura jud mi ug tinuod na nag-uma, maka-ideya pud mi ug unsaon pag-baligya sa among harvest,” she remarked at the end of the event.

(It’s really fun because you’re like farming in real life; you’ll also get ideas on how to market your yields.)

Charles Palen, the facilitator, went on to discuss that the EntreFarm Game is the better form of training. 

"Training using the Entrefarm Game is more engaging, more fun, and more practical," Palen emphasized during the lecture. 

“In contrast to the traditional training wherein participants would passively listen for hours, Entrefarm participants could strategize, plan, and prepare for crop production—skills that would be useful in their future farming endeavors,” he added.

Through the engaging and interactive two-day training utilizing the EntreFarm Game, coffee farmers from Agusan del Sur experienced what it's like to run their farms. The teams competed by planting, harvesting, and selling simulated crops to earn in-game money, and then the victorious team was chosen based onthe amount of final assets they hadearned based on their decisions and preferences in each stage. 

The DTI is optimistic that this unique approach will foster an entrepreneurial mindset among the coffee farmers in Agusan del Sur. 

The RAPID Growth Project’s development goal is to increase the income level of small farmers and unemployed rural women and men across selected agri-based value chains. This can be done by executing collaborative action plans and building commercial partnerships that will sustain the growth of agri-based MSMEs due to the strong backward linkages to farmers. With enabling conditions put in place for businesses to grow, the project hopes to achieve inclusive and  sustainable rural economic development. (JPG, PIA-Agusan del Sur with a report from DTI-Agusan del Sur)