School-plus-home gardens e-training showcases agripreneurship

A LEARNING event led by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and the Center of Excellence on Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Nutrition (CE-SAIN) highlighted the establishment of school-plus-home gardens wherein sources of income and livelihood may come in.

The event was the seventh session of the e-training titled, "Trainers' Training for Integrating the School-plus-Home Gardens cum Biodiversity Enhancement Enterprise" (SHGBEE) in Agricultural Technology Parks (ATPs) and Mini-ATPs in Cambodia earlier this month via Zoom.

According to SEARCA, the event was a collaborative undertaking by SEARCA and CE-SAIN in partnership with the Kansas State University (KSU) and the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). 

During the session, Prof. Bates Bathan, UPLB assistant professor from the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, College of Economics and Management, talked about the concept of agripreneurship in relation to school gardens.

Bathan cited Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (2012) wherein he defined it as the entrepreneurship that relates to the marketing and production of various agricultural products, as well as agricultural inputs.

He explained that an agripreneur is an individual who starts, organizes and manages a business venture focusing on the agricultural sector, and further discussed the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs as organizers of people, strategies and technologies; creative problem-solvers; can establish strong partnerships; and innovators.

Bathan also evaluated the participants' entrepreneurial capabilities in accordance with their attitudes or personal beliefs by administering the assessment of personal entrepreneurial competencies or PECs.

During the workshop, the participants were tasked to accomplish the Business Model Canvas (BMC) to help them understand their business model in a straightforward and structured way.

This was mainly for describing, visualizing, assessing and changing business models as well as describing the rationale of how a business creates, delivers and captures value.

During the presentation, shown were the participants' various types of services and commodities under the customer segments of the BMC template whom the respective schools create value.

These are good agricultural practices or GAP for vegetables, agricultural inputs, local customers, students, teachers and farmers support in the form of trainings.

The participants were able to present their BMC at the main session and were all synthesized by Bathan by providing feedback on how to enhance the BMC of the participants.

SEARCA said the organizers facilitated a post-session evaluation to gauge the knowledge and confidence gained by the participants in sharing and teaching the lessons they have learned from the lecture.

To wrap up the session, there was reflection and synthesis on encouraging the participants and their students to become agripreneurs, it added.