The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) provincial office of Bohol trained representative Farmer Business School (FBS) enrollees on basic financial literacy, product pricing, costing and marketing last 23-24 April 2018 at the Paraiso Kubo Inn, Dagohoy, Bohol. This is one of the special topics which was identified by the FBS groups during the needs assessment conducted as part of the FBS process. Participants included FBS facilitators and members (PO treasurers, auditors, and presidents) of the six peoples organisations (POs) with whom FBS is being piloted by the Integrated Natural Resources and Environmental Management Project (INREMP) and the International Potato Center (CIP) in the framework of the FoodSTART+ project. Besides the pilot FBS POs, two other POs also participated in the training.
Ms. Maribel Arbasto, Negosyo Center Program officer educated the farmers on the importance and application of simple bookkeeping and effective cash management, covering topics on recording business transactions using four accounting books (cash receipts book, cash disbursement book, journal, and general ledger). The participants also learned how to make financial reports such as simple income statement and simple balance sheet in a workshop that followed the lectures and exercises. According to Ms. Arbasto, “it is very important to record all business transactions in an enterprise because this is the very first step in bookkeeping”.
DTI Bohol sent Senior Trade and Industry Specialist, Mr. Rey Anthony Regis, as the resource person for the training on product costing and pricing. Since all FBS groups are to produce and market products, it is crucial that they know how to properly cost, how much mark-up to apply, and how to appropriately price their products to achieve sustainability of their enterprises. The participants were able to apply what they learned in the workshop using the actual costs of producing their products. Mr. Regis also trained the participants on marketing agri-based products, covering topics such as the principles of demand and supply, the 5 Ps of marketing, and market segmentation and targeting.
The participants also received a bonus lecture on enterprise development from Mr. Rey Geolagon, a Negosyo Center Business counselor. After the trainings and workshops, the participants expressed their appreciation for the resource persons, INREMP and CIP-FoodSTART+ for the financial and technical support given to them.
INREMP is an IFAD investment project implemented by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Forest Management Bureau. The project aims to address unsustainable watershed management in four priority upper river basins in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Bohol island, Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, and Norther Mindanao. Furthermore, DENR-INREMP aims to reduce and reverse degradation of watersheds and associated environmental services caused by forest denudation and unsustainable farming practices.
FoodSTART+ partnered with INREMP to implement the FBS in the abovementioned project sites and strengthen the entrepreneurial capacity of farmers. FoodSTART+ also collaborates with other IFAD investment projects to implement the FBS approach in the Philippines, India and Indonesia.
Written by Guada Babilonia, Philippines Country Facilitator, CIP-FoodSTART+