Agritalk 2017, sponsored by Agricultural Monthly, successfully brought together agri enthusiasts and businesspeople for a day of learning and commerce.
By Yvette Tan
TheRural Development & Education Center (RDEC) of the Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) in Diliman, Quezon City teemed with people as agriculture enthussiasts flocked to Agritalk, a series of talks on different aspects of Philippine agriculture produced by Agriculture Monthly magazine in partnership with the Agriculture ATI.
The agrifair focused on different individuals giving inspirational talks about their expperiences in farming.
Chef and food historian Christopher Carangian, who is also the ambassador of Amadeo, Cavite, one of the country’s most active coffee growing regions, spoke about the role of technology in heritage coffee.
Self-taught farmers Honorario and Mary Anne Cervantes spoke about their progress and challenges to small-scale agriculture. Mr. Cervantes also spoke about his experience in going from police officer to gentleman farmer.
Elena Ros, an agriculturist and researcher on Crop Production and Nursery Management from UP Los Baños introduced a packed conference room to the benefits of urban gardening in meeting the food needs of small urban communities.
Kenneth de Garcia, Farm Tourism Director of Costales Nature Farm, spoke about the many opportunities available in agritourism. He used Costales Nature Farm as an example of a thriving business that profits its shareholders, its emplyees, the community around it, and the environment. Agritourism, he says, has the potential to enliven much of the Philippines if applied properly.
The Department of Agriculture’s (DA) own Joven Calasasag talked about the Department’s e-Extension Program for Agriculture and Fisheries. It’s an online program that allows users to learn different agricultural skills, and is available free of charge.
John Regie Anthony Jaminal of Perfect Mushrooms shared his knowledge on starting a mushroom farm. There is a high demand for mushrooms both locally and abroad, which means that this could be a potentially lucrative business. The ATI has numerous training programs and partnerships that aim to help newbies, enthusiasts, and experienced agriculturists expand their networks and hone their crafts.
Last but not least, Agriculture Monthly Editor-in-Chief Zac Sarian spoke about growing ornamental plants for profit and pleasure in urban agriculture. Sometimes, beauty is enough reason to cultivate something.
Agriculture Monthly hopes to inspire more Filipinos to try their hand at agriculture. Whether it be for fon or profit, on a farm or in the city, there are numerous opportunities available for the willing farmer.