Lack of access to affordable financial products, limited resource and idea on inputs with higher quality, limited knowledge on using technologies and market data, and poor market links are the common problems in the value chain of the farmers that have been causing the decrease of their population.
Considered that Philippines an agricultural country yet nothing have done to cultivate it further. From year 1960’s, our country was promoting this sector and was able to encourage students from other countries to study here. But things changed – from being the primary agricultural country to now the one of the many countries to export people to study the said sector in abroad. It is ironic that they are now better than us in Agriculture with their more modern farming technologies.
In contrary with that, Agriculture-focused organizations thought of ways for farming to still be viable to everyone. And Social Entrepreneurship is one effective way to create business from the farmers’ produce. Social Entrepreneurship pertains to analyzing the social problems in an area and creating a social change through applying entrepreneurial principles and operations. It also talks about providing new opportunities with an impact on Social Integration, economic sustainability and fair society and making farming a more productive livelihood.
Who else have not known Tony Meloto, the former founder of Gawad Kalinga? He has been promoting Social Entrepreneurship to the youth since 2013 by providing Scholarship for them in the School for Experiential and Entrepreneurial Development or SEED Philippines and still in lined with the mission of ending poverty up to now. The students in the said school will be taught and guided to create their social enterprises that will give advantages to the community and educate every individual to maximize the use of any produce of the farmers and fishers in order for them to get out of the downward spiral.
In this way, farmers and fishers are being prioritized as they have been neglected by the society in terms of professionalism. Tony Meloto proposed the idea of innovation through their produce and makes them into more valuable products to be offered to the consumers. As of now, there are several enterprises that are considered products of the SEED students. For instance, The Merienda Group, an enterprise of SEED Students from batches 2 and 4, is aiming to define and promote the taste of our local snacks. It started to form its group last May and this Merienda Group consists of different snacks and beverage like Puto ni Papa, a home-made rice-cake with a melted cheese on top. Probinsarap, chips made from raw sweet potato and Saba banana. Kapetan Barako, a Philippine Liberica coffee from the highlands of Lipa Batangas. OhGK which is a beverage consisting healthy ingredients like Oregano, honey, ginger and Kalamansi.
The lead entrepreneurs behind these enterprises are Danilo Ablen of OhGK and Kapetan Barako, Angelica De Leon of Probinsarap, Rem Salunoy and Jerome Corpus with their Puto ni Papa. Among the products mentioned, OhGK and Puto ni Papa is leading and have been active for 3 years. In fact, they are now supplying the demands of their markets like MasaHealthy, Global Payments and My Town. They produce 1,200 bottles of OhGK in Global Payments and 1,000 pieces of Puto ni Papa a month. They earn for about 90,000 with their group a month. Their enterprise is a big help for them, for their family and for their community since they are starting to provide job for them.
They are just some of the social entrepreneurs who have dreamt of making social change through social innovations. They want to be recognized as one of the best producers of healthy snacks and beverages. Youth, on the other hand, must have an engagement in agriculture and social entrepreneurship considering that it is vital to ensure that the Philippines will not have a scarcity of future food producers. They are most likely the holders of our future progress. Social Entrepreneurship can be done to support the farmers in the country as well as giving prior to their produce and solving social issues like unemployment and out-of-school youth.