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Editorial: FARMERS MUST GO INTO BUSINESS

In the one-product approach, the farmer raises the product most suitable to his farm conditions – soil, climate and other variables. He develops mastery only in one technology on only one product and produces in large volumes that could enable him to enter into a marketing contract with commodity traders.

Since time immemorial, Filipino farmers have always been in subsistence farming. They till the soil in order to feed their families and sell the excess to their neighbors or at the nearest comprador.

This situation makes the farmers some of the poorest people in this country. They plant a little corn, a little rice, a little coconut trees and so forth, all in little quantities. They also raise a little livestock or a little fishpond.

The programs of the Department of Agriculture are reinforcing these farming practices by teaching little of everything, instead of everything of something.

Corn farmers are also trained in rice farming, fruit culture, animal management and others that sometimes are not even viable in the peculiar circumstances of their situation.

It seems that this situation is about to change. In Iligan, MSU-IIT and the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) opened recently the Farmers’ Business School.

Once the farmers learn that they are engaged in a business venture, they would leave subsistence farming and focus on the one-product approach.

In the one-product approach, the farmer raises the product most suitable to his farm conditions – soil, climate and other variables. He develops mastery only in one technology on only one product and produces in large volumes that could enable him to enter into a marketing contract with commodity traders.

This way he can attain customer reliability in quality, quantity and price. He could also reach out to big markets where the rate of return is normally high especially that some products such as fruit and vegetables are highly perishable.

The municipality of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte has also established its own Farmers Training School. As of the moment, the school probably focuses on agricultural technology.

But given the trend that the municipality is going, it is highly probable that the Farmers will soon be trained also in Business.

This paper is not really in the position to tell whether or not other places elsewhere throughout the country are also into developing businessmen out of their farmers. But if the trend goes on maybe this country can uplift the farmers from the quagmire of poverty.

Soon development in the Bangsamoro is expected to come about with the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

There are large tracts of farmlands in the Bangsamoro territory waiting to be developed.

If the leaders of the land will realize the importance of inculcating in the minds of the farmers that they need to do business with the land they till, maybe the land of promise will become a land of fulfillment.

RANAO STAR

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