Four farmer organizations and two micro agri-businesses in Northern Mindanao will be mentored to enhance their income potential as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) rolls out its Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) Program to the agency’s Rural Agro-enterprise Partnership for Inclusive Development (RAPID) Growth Project.

RAPID-KMME is the first mentorship program that offers a comprehensive framework in promoting rural enterprises and value chain development. The 12 modules will be conducted for free in virtual or hybrid sessions weekly as DTI pushes for more virtual learning especially in the time of the pandemic.

The pilot batch of mentees in the region include Kabangasan Mapua Dahilig Agrarian Reform Community Cooperative (KAMADA ARC COOP), Malingao Community Services Multipurpose Cooperative (MCOCO), Kiara Small Coconut Farmers Organization, Belayong Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative (BARBECO), Iligan Cacao Growers Cooperative, and La Tablea de Cacao.

RAPID-KMME will inject serious training, mentoring, and improvements in business plans to increase income for both farmers and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), eventually generating more employment for the country. 

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said that RAPID is a game-changing program that will unlock the potential of the agribusiness in the country following the value chain approach.

“It has specific targets to push for sustained growth of agri-based MSMEs, but it emphasizes also the backward linkage of farmers making sure that the farmers will produce the output that will, in turn, be processed,” he said during the ceremonial signing of the RAPID-KMME Program.

RAPID Growth project aims to increase the income of 78,000 farmer households by 60%, generate 31,000 direct and 155,000 indirect jobs, and 100% by over 1,000 MSMEs.

Meanwhile, the KMME program will elevate the business models of the farmers and MSMEs “so that they become productive contributors to economic development.”♦

Date of Release: 10 March 2021