EMPOWERED FARMERS. Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries in Tulunan town, North Cotabato province, show their certificates after completing the Farmers Business School, a Department of Agrarian Reform program that empowers farmers through entrepreneurial knowledge, on Tuesday (Nov. 15, 2022). The graduates completed 25 FBS sessions that started in July this year. (Photo courtesy of DAR-NoCot)

COTABATO CITY – Officials of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in North Cotabato province on Wednesday lauded 31 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) in Tulunan town for completing the Farmer Business School (FBS) program that will empower them to be productive entrepreneurs.

Charish Paña, DAR North Cotabato agrarian reform program officer, congratulated the FBS finishers for completing the 25 sessions which started in July this year.
"We hope that we have inspired the farmers, especially the ARBs, to put their learning into practice and pursue entrepreneurship for more income generation for their respective families," Paña said in a statement.

The FBS graduates were members of the New Caridad United Farmers Association in Tulunan who finished the course on Tuesday.

Paña said the FBS 25 sessions have provided the learners with sufficient knowledge and skills in establishing and managing farm enterprises.

Meanwhile, DAR - North Cotabato Enterprise Development and Economic Support (EDES) section chief, Virginia Obrero, commended the graduates for their enthusiasm to complete the program.

In her speech during the graduation ceremony, Obrero challenged the graduates and their organization to upscale the services of their association and to turn their group into a cooperative.

"DAR has already equipped all of you with sufficient knowledge and skills of an entrepreneur. We believe that you can now upscale businesses operation by turning your association into a coop for a wider reach to boost the income generation of your organization," she said.

Roy Gullos, one of the FBS graduates, welcomed the challenge to form a coop citing that the program has enhanced their entrepreneurial knowledge of farm production, business planning, proper recording, market networking, and decision-making.

“The program has helped us change our perspective on farming and look at it as an opportunity for business,” he said.

The FBS sessions were facilitated by DAR-trained technical experts. (PNA)