SKILLS ENHANCEMENT. A member of the Kapate Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries and Farmers Association in Kiamba, Sarangani receives his certificate of completion from the Farm Business School in this undated photo. The Department of Agrarian Reform conducted the 12-week course aimed at developing the management abilities and entrepreneurial mindset of farmers. (Courtesy of DAR)

MANILA – Agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) of Sarangani province recently finished a farm business management course conducted by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and are expected to apply their learnings to increase productivity.

Farmers belonging to 34 ARBS graduated from the 12-week agricultural entrepreneurship from the Farmer Business School (FBS).

They said the program, which included on-site training, helped them develop their management abilities, developed their entrepreneurial mindset, and unleashed their business capabilities.

"What I’m grateful for in the FBS is that the modules taught us the principles of agro-enterprising, which is very relevant for us to develop as entrepreneurs," Fructuso Olaer said in an interview, as shared by the DAR in a news release on Friday.

Along with his fellow farmers, Olaer said they employ the strategies they learned on their farms.

"I have integrated into my business plan the proper financial recording, which is a very crucial phase in a farming business. I have also carefully developed the farm schedule, types of crops to plant mingled with their corresponding inputs, expenses, and projected income," he explained in the vernacular.

H. Roldan Ali, DAR-Region 12 (Soccsksargen) Officer-in-Charge and Assistant Regional Director, commended the graduates as he stressed the importance of lifelong learnings.

He said a business mindset, coupled with new skills, will mean more opportunities.

"You know how, where, and when to sell your produce. You may even consider value-adding in order to get a bigger income," he told the graduates.

The FBS sessions also helped strengthen camaraderie, teamwork and volunteerism among agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBOs).

Ali said two members of the Arciaga family of the Kapate Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries and Farmers Association allowed the ARBO to use their farmland for the vegetable farming project.

The group has already made initial harvests.

The FBS fulfills the directive of DAR Secretary Conrado Estrella III to help empower farmers and enhance their capabilities. (PNA)