Thirty-one (31) agrarian reform beneficiary (ARB) members of the Ugnayang Lakas ng Dariao Agrarian Reform Cooperative (UNLADCO) in Dariao, Caramoran, Catanduanes were able to improve their business knowledge and skills as they attended the Farmer’s Business Simulation (FBSim) sponsored by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Catanduanes.
The FBSim is a highly interactive and innovative training tool for farmers which teaches them the actual practice, improvement, success, and sustainability of start-ups and small businesses.
Nerisa B. Aldea, Catanduanes Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II, said the 31 participants, composed of 12 males and 19 females, are those who were able to complete the Farm Business School (FBS) previously conducted by DAR Catanduanes Provincial Office.
“This program is in line with our attempt to depart from the usual lecture and technical inputs-heavy entrepreneurial training courses,” Aldea said.
Aldea said that FBSim is an adaptation from the German version of an interactive game designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of ARBs, smallholder farmers, and those managing sustainable agribusiness farms.
FBSim is under the Knowledge Harvesting and Skilling Session and Agroenterprise Capacity Enhancement (PACE) Project, which is a joint initiative of DAR and Mindanao Alliance Self-Help Societies Southern Philippines Educational Cooperative Center (MASS-SPECC), to strengthen the competencies and skills of the ARBs in farm management as a business and facilitate their engagement with markets that will give their product high value.
MASS SPECC is the oldest and largest cooperative federation in the country which provides education, technical advice, and extension services to various cooperatives nationwide.
Regente D. Dioneda, Chief Agrarian Reform Program Officer, and Chris Roland M. Hebron, National FBS Focal Person agrarian reform program officer (ARPO) II of DAR central office led the conduct of the activity, together with the facilitation of Diva Josefa Riva, DARPO-Albay ARPO II and Aileen Menguilla, Legazpi City Regional Office ARPO I.
The FBSim team also visited sustainable ARB Organizations in the province which include the Bagong-Siglo Farmers Producers Association, Inc. (BSFPAI) in San Roque, Bato; Batong Paloway Agrarian Reform Cooperative (BAPARCO) in Virac and San Andres; and Bislig-Cabcab Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BISCAB MPC) in Datag, San Andres, Catanduanes.