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How to become a successful ‘agri-preneur’

* Farmer turned governor in Misamis Occidental talks Urban gardening, agribusiness in a forum in Cagayn de Oro City

MISAMIS Occidental former Governor Loreto "Leo" Ocampos shared his expertise on Urban Gardening and Agriculture Entrepreneurship during a forum in Cagayan de Oro City organized by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) -Northern Mindanao last July 19, 2019.


Ocampos, who was the guest speaker and a member of ECCP, has been a farmer for over 30 years and owns Hoyohoy Organic Farm in Tangub, Misamis Occidental. He served as vice governor for 18 years in Misamis Occidental and was elected governor for 9 years.


Ocampos showcased his farm to demonstrate how Agriculture Entrepreneurship works and how to become a successful "agri-preneur".


"Agriculture with no business, it will die, if a business does not have agriculture and science, it will die," the former governor said. He shared tips on organic farming and livestock that triggered interest in participants through agricultural entrepreneurship.


Why Organic Farming? According to Ocampos, nature has offered a bounty and beauty, why not make the most of out it and take care of its health and environment? Use natural and biological approaches to nurture the soil, crops, and farm animals. Farming is also a good option for retirement, as a sideline income, and can be enjoyed too.


The 7 M's of dealing with Agricultural Business. In this industry, other than hard work and perseverance, it is also important to have (1) a mindset or perspective; (2) know your target market; (3) invest or have enough money to start, (4) prepare the materials, (5) manpower, and (6) machines; and lastly, (7) learn basic methods and techniques in farming or growing livestock.


"Singularity and clarity of purpose" is the key to starting an agribusiness or any form of business, Ocampos stressed.


With Urban Gardening, the former governors emphasized the individual’s creativity and follow the organic farming techniques to grow healthy and safe vegetables at home.


“Always have a master plan before starting your own farm or pursuing organic farming business,” he said. It is also important to do “research or visit farms to learn different types of techniques.”


ECCP. ECCP is a "bilateral foreign chamber that promotes European interests in the country and vice versa." They offer a strong business network between its members and clients by providing business matching, market briefings and research, access to business opportunities, and customized training solutions.


Services include partner search, market scanning, training programs, and event management. Part of the organization's mission is the continuous support and ties of their members and clients to conduct forums that focus on advocacies and business opportunities.


Becoming a Member of ECCP


A brief introduction of what is ECCP and its membership offering was discussed by Ms. Mercedes Mejia, Managing Director of SLERS Foods, Inc. and the ECCP CDO/NM Business Council Chairman.


She mentioned that ECCP has established a network in five cities and provinces in the Philippines, namely Manila, Cebu, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, and Clark. Started in 1978, right now there are about 800 corporate partners and premium members nationwide and around the globe.


 In Cagayan de Oro, one of their associate members is CEPALCO, which was the venue partner for the forum, alongside Seda Centrio, Capitol University, A Brown Company, Inc., SLERS, Handmade Paper Crafts, Caurus Arion Trading Corporation, SPower Solutions, and Northern Mindanao Federation of Dairy Cooperatives.


Each member is covered by benefits that allow them to make connections with clients and other businesses, event participation, training and seminars, promotions and support, and trade fair participation.


For more information about the ECCP membership, events, and programs, contact Joanne Natindim, Branch Officer for CDO through email address joanne.natindim@eccp.com. Feel free to visit their website at www.eccp.com.


About the author: Joan Merced Sullano-Sheng is a lifestyle and technology blogger, a social responsibility advocate, a photography practitioner, and freelance IT consultant. Follow and like her social media pages: Facebook: fb.com/dgeekmomblog, Instagram: @jms_photoblog, and Blog URL: www.nerdygeekmom.com /rp

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