More than 50 representatives from various sectors attended a forum, Emerging opportunities for postharvest technologies and entrepreneurship, which aims to increase awareness among microfinance institutions, banks, and policymakers, of improved technologies and entrepreneurial enterprise opportunities.
The forum, held on 15 January in Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, also provided farmers who have tested these new options, to present sustainable business cases for adopting hermetic storage and business plans for pursuing contract drying services.
The forum was an activity of the Philippine Postharvest Learning Alliance, a multi-stakeholder platform that works to reduce postharvest losses and increase incomes of farmers and other postharvest actors. Learning alliances have also been established in Cambodia and Vietnam by the Asian Development Bank-funded Postharvest Project, with complementary support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
Alfred Schmidley, IRRI business model and value chain specialist, explains, “We hope that this event will inspire and allow these new stakeholders to establish better linkages to loan products and other services to technologies and enterprise pilot for scaling out further with Learning Alliance actors.”
Several business cases for adopting hermetic storage and mechanical drying services were presented by local farmers. Mr. Schmidley and Raquel Dacanay from Caraga State University provided guidance for the farmers in developing business cases.
Several financial institutions then presented a range of activities, products, and services available to the farmers who want funding for their business plans.
The participants also discussed issues on finance and policy and next steps for future learning activities.
The event culminated with a demonstration of the reversible airflow flatbed dryer by Dexter Ona and Caesar Tado from the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice); and the IRRI Super Bag by Jose Gomos, vice-president of GrainPro, Inc.(makers of the Super Bag), at the PhilRice Agusan del Norte station.
Edited and posted by Maria Leah Cruz for the IRRI Bulletin (22 January 2013)