LifeBank’s Center for Bayanihan Economics advocates the Inclusive Value Chain of Smart Agriculture as a framework for addressing poverty and food insecurity. The framework serves as basis in crafting the Foundation’s complementary social development programs—Social Entrepreneurship Program (SEP) and Smart Agriculture Program (SAP).
One third of the population reside in the rural areas where livelihood is largely agricultural. However, agricultural livelihood remains subsistent which prevents people from getting out of poverty. One of the major issues that exacerbates poverty is the limited access to productive assets and business opportunities, which then became the LBF-CBE’s entry-point.
The LBF-CBE started engaging a total of 134 farmers (120 Ikabuhi Microfinance Program [IMP] Members and 14 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries [ARBs]) from Bulacan, Laguna, and Leyte. The farmers are called “agripreneurs”, a combination of “agriculture” and “entrepreneurs”.
The agripreneurs have been trained on organic-based farm practices, social enterprise development, and farmer clustering. The training program was also designed from a value-chain standpoint covering topics on organic rice and vegetable production, organic-based farming practices and method, entrepreneurship, financial literacy and personal development, agri-enterprise clustering and collaboration, and agro-processing.
Major sustainable practices and technologies that were introduced to the agripreneurs are:
Organic Liquid Food Supplement
Trellising and Vine Training
Standardized Bed Size
Thus far, of the total 134 farmers:
82 are active
4 are doing full organic
26 are still in the transition stage
47 active SaSAKA Borrowers
The LBF-CBE is also focusing on developing the following agro-processed products where the agripreneurs will be partners.
Milled Rice (Black, Brown, and Red Rice)
Sweet Basil Dip
Milled Rice (Black and Red Rice) – 2 agripreneurs
Banana Chips – 1 agripreneur
Currently, some of the agripreneurs are linked to the social enterprises:
Bayani Brew (9)
First Harvest (1)
Grassroots Kirchen (3)
The Artisan Gatherer (2)
Good Food Community
At an early stage, agripreneur’s additional income attributable to the partnership with LBF-CBE ranges from P5,000 to P8,000 per month.
Average income (before SEP) P10,000 per month
Additional net income (after SEP involvement) Php 5,000-8,000 per month
The initial results present substantial change in the agripreneurs’ livelihood and serve as a valuable living proof for what the Inclusive Value chain of Smart Agriculture can bring.