by Von Henzley Consigna
On September 1, the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) hosted the “Go Negosyo Mentor Me Innovation Forum on Agriculture” at the DL Umali Hall. Entrepreneurs, students, and interested individuals attended the forum in search for business ideas in the agriculture sector.
The Go Negosyo’s Mentor Me Innovation Forum tackled “agripreneurship” and “agri-innovations”. The forum was divided into three parts, specifically:
- “Cultivating Agribusiness Growth through Innovation”,
- “Rethinking Agriculture: Innovative Approaches to Sustainable Agribusiness”, and
- “Making it Happen: The 3Ms in Setting-up an Agribusiness Venture (Mentors, Machines, Money)”.
The speakers for the forum was composed agribusiness executives and officials from Departments of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, and Department of Science and Technology.
According to Josephine Costales, chairman of Costales Nature Farms and one of the plenary forum speakers, they aim to encourage people, the youth especially, to be involved in the agribusiness sector. She emphasized that there is no reason for Filipinos to be hungry and poor given the bountiful resources and smart minds.
Several businesses and government institutions took part of the exhibit at the DL Umali lobby alongside the booths showcasing the forum speakers’ enterprises. These included Rey Lapid’s R. Lapid Chicharon and BBQ and Sherill Quintana’s Oryspa Spa Solutions, Inc.
The university’s Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension (OVCRE) also featured UPLB products in the exhibit. According to Regina Ongkiko of OCVRE, the UPLB products are already being commercialized but they continue to look for investors and farmers alike, to further put the fruit of the UPLB’s research to good use.
The Technology Commercialization on Wheels (TCOW) of Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) and the University of the Philippines Los Baños Foundation, Inc. (UPLB-FI), through the College of Development Communication (CDC), was also in the exhibit.
Joseph H. Calata, chairman and CEO of Calata Corporation advised communities who are starting or are planning to start a business to be resourceful, to be trusting and be trustworthy. Calata added that “Walang negosyo na malaki agad. Basta magsikap lamang and keep on improving yourself and your business.”
Students and faculty members of schools and colleges were also present in the forum. Christine Enriquez, a junior BS Agribusiness Management student from Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University in La Union, said that they attended the forum not only there for academic reasons, but also to grab the opportunity to learn and share the knowledge to their friends and family.
The Mentor Me Innovation Forum on Agriculture is a regular event of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc.–Go Negosyo. Having been previously held in different places in the country, this year’s agriculture forum envisions a partnership between Go Negosyo and UPLB’s Center for Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship.
The forum is conducted regularly to encourage people to become agriculture entrepreneurs. It aims to encourage Filipinos that with the proper mindset and skills, anyone can be a successful entrepreneur especially in an agricultural country like the Philippines.