1 March 2021 via Facebook Live 


Magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat. 

First of all, it’s a pleasure again to be seeing all our colleagues and partners. This is really a manifestation of the collaboration with the government and private sector, non-government organizations (NGOs), and everything that will really help the country to move forward especially this time of the pandemic. It’s very good to have this partnership, the Rural Agro-enterprise Partnership for Inclusive Development and Growth (RAPID Growth) program is a very good program that will really unlock the potential of the agri-business in the country following the value chain approach.  

The industry clustering that former Usec. Merly Cruz was presenting, the beauty of this is that it will really enhance the income potential of the farmers, increasing their production, their yield, their income, at the same time provide also the other income potential of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) when it comes to the processing of the agriculture inputs. 

On the production side, it was presented that it is important to aim for higher productivity and the yields that will improve the income of the farmers, and the SMEs teaching them the “how-to” in entrepreneurship at ‘yun naman ang expertise ng Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) program, which is the joint program of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) partnering with the Go Negosyo for the longest time. Ilang taon na tayong magkakasama dito. As presented also, ilan ang graduates ang na-produce nito–over 8,000 and even during the time of the pandemic. 

This RAPID program is, to me, really game-changing. It has specific targets to push for the sustaining growth of agri-based MSMEs, but it emphasizes also the backward linkages of the farmers by making sure that the farmers who led the produce, the output, which will, in turn, be processed. So ang madalas na problema natin in the processing is it can grow as fast as the MSMEs are able to grow the market and even export, but the problem is if there’s no agricultural inputs or these are already limited, then you suddenly experience a block in the value chain. So, it’s important that as the MSMEs will find ‘yung market and grow the business, it’s very important na naka-support din ‘yung production of the agriculture produced that will serve as inputs to the processing sector. Aside from that, helping in building income for rural farming communities will really help in the creation of more agri-business moving forward.  

The targets are very specific: helping 78,000 farmer households increase income by 60%, 31,000 direct and 155,000 indirect jobs, and 100% increase in sales by over 1,000 MSMEs. It’s important that with this partnership, together with the other partnerships of RAPID, we are able to inject serious training, mentoring, improvements in the business plans, and at the end of the day increase income for both MSMEs and farmers and generating more employment for the country. 

We are also pushing for more virtual learning especially this time with the pandemic. Beyond this, all these entrepreneurs and stakeholders are open to tapping other programs of the DTI. Nandiyan ang COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program which is a micro-financing program of the SB Corp. The DTI will continue to provide more programs and livelihood support. Kasama na rin dyan yung mga ibang programa for the micro and livelihood programs that will blossom into Micro and Small, and Small becoming Medium, and eventually large company moving forward.  

There are other programs that we are part of that Deliver-E project that is essentially another value chain approach to lessen the number of traders in between, and this time linking also the products agriculture direct to the consumer market and limiting the number of traders in between and it uses the delivery digital platform.  

There’s also agri-business portfolio program, which is a whole government-approach by consolidating all programs and projects of all the agencies with respect to agriculture and agri-business. Meron po tayong publication ditowhich potential entrepreneurs interested in agri-business can tap.  

We make use also over 1,100 DTI Negosyo Centers that are scattered in almost all municipalities following the 7Ms Framework for Successful Entrepreneurship that includes improvement of mindset, mastery of entrepreneurship, mentoring—similar to what was presented also by Engr. Merly—market support, microfinancing support, machines or Shared Service Facilities and offering us well our different models of businesses. This is really a 360-degree program that we give to aspiring and even existing entrepreneurs.  

Once again, we would like to thank our partners here, the KMME, PCE group, and Go Negosyo, in trying to help our kababayans especially when it comes to training and mentorship in elevating their business models so that they will become productive contributors to economic development.  

Again, helping farmers, higher income, better productivity, higher yield in production, access to infrastructure, better output, and on the part of the SMEs—where KMME will be very much involved—increasing the income of the MSMEs, growing their business, and creating more jobs for the community.  

Again, all of this hopefully will help us build back better and offer a more comfortable quality of life para sa ating mga kababayan as envisioned by our President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.  

Maraming salamat po and good afternoon to everyone. ♦

Date of Release: 2 March 2021