Best Ideas 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.
PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AND “AGRIPRENEURSHIP” AMONG SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
Explain your idea in details:
The agriculture industry is considered as one of the backbones of the Philippine economy. It is loaded with opportunities in the local and global market. However, the industry remains to be one of the less attractive career paths in the country. This is reflected in the low turn-out of enrollees in most agricultural schools. One of the main reasons is the perception that is not a lucrative profession and those who will engage in farming will end up just being a farmer. With the proposed project, the ASKI Skills and Knowledge Institute, Inc. hopes to encourage the students to look into agriculture in a new perspective by giving them an actual farming experience, provide livelihood for the students and their parents to augment their income and value-adding of produce through processing. Moving forward, one of the goals is to formalize them into an association/ cooperative in the local community. The students will be clustered based on their village and each village will be assigned with a specific commodity to be planted. In partnership with the community leaders, the students and the Institute, they will identify and coordinate with owners of vacant lot/land within the community to lend or jointly implement the project.The Agripreneurship concept will eventually lead to developing young people engaged in micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in their community. The students will also be required to open and deposit certain amount in their passbook account at the ASKI Multipurpose Cooperatives Savings and Deposit Program. It will earn 2% interest per annum if the deposit reached to Php2,000. Also included in the plan is organizing the students and registering them as Association/Cooperative as Young Entrepreneurs Social Enterprise Cooperative to be recognized by the government and other private institutions.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
The target beneficiaries of the project are the 94 students from Grades 11 and 12 of the ASKI Skills and Knowledge Institute, Inc. residing in Talavera, Nueva Ecija including their families. These students belong to the poor rural communities in the municipality and their families have no stable sources of income. Most of the parents work as farm-laborers and earn on a seasonal basis. The benefits to be derived from the project will enable the beneficiaries to earn additional income from the project while having a savings component. They will have a direct/ sure market for their produce since the Institute will serve as consolidator. The long- term benefits can be enjoyed by the beneficiaries once they are formalized and registered into a cooperative as there will more support from the government or private sectors. The project will empower the youth in the community by giving them the needed support to have an entrepreneurial mindset and become leaders in the future of their own organization. The ultimate goal is seeing them managing their own Cooperative. The Institute believes that the young generation have a lot of creative ideas to implement and only needs support to come into realization. Seeing the youth venture into agriculture is also one of the long-term impacts that the Institute hopes to witness at the end of the project. And that farming can be a lucrative profession.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
The ASKI Skills and Knowledge Institute Inc. will oversee the whole project from the planning stage to implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Reports to be submitted to the donor agency (if any) will also be prepared by the Institute.On the later stage of the project, they will ensure that the group will be organized into an association/cooperative to be recognized in the local or provincial level and later on at the regional or national level. The project also includes a savings component from the students/members that will be handled by the ASKI Multipurpose Cooperative through its Savings and Deposit Scheme. They will be given an interest of 2% per annum for a minimum deposit of Php2,000. More importantly, the AMPC will serve as a direct market of their produce to be used in the Jazz Eat Restaurant being managed by the Cooperative. The school canteen at the Institute will also serve as market of their harvest since they need raw materials for their everyday food preparation. The Supreme Student Council will also play a crucial role as this is being eyed as a project of the Council to encourage the students to be involved in this initiative. These young leaders will serve as model among the other students. On the other hand, the help of the local government unit-barangay level will also be needed in getting support for the project and in ensuring the participation of each community. The project will require additional funding in the future for the expansion program of the Youth association. Funding will be needed to conduct an extensive training on agricultural technologies and practices to further enhance their knowledge and farming skills. Partnerships with other private and public agencies will be forged
I am Erwin S. Embuscado, 34 years old, currently employed at the ASKI Group of Companies, Inc. in the Philippines handling the Resource Mobilization and Corporate Communications Department. On several occasions, I attended local and international conferences, symposia and workshops and to receive awards on behalf ASKI. Training programs, short courses and related seminars on Proposal Writing, Public Relations and Communication Workshops under the auspices of USAID, Ayala Foundation, ADFIAP and Ateneo De Manila University- School of Social Sciences Development Studies Program were also undertaken. My inclination and interest in writing enabled me to develop more my skills over the years. I facilitated writing entries to different award giving bodies for ASKI. Among the notable entries that gained recognition in Europe include the 4th European Microfinance Award focusing on Food Security.In the last seven years, I attended the Global Sustainable Finance Conference and Awards and represented ASKI in Karlsruhe, Germany from 2013-2019.Prior to my work in ASKI, I started my career as a technical writer at the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech), an agency under the Philippines Department of Agriculture for six years.I wrote articles on microfinance and postharvest related topics in various community newspapers from 2009 to 2015.Likewise, I am one of the authors of the book entitled Agri-preneur: Successful Entrepreneurs Adopting Innovations, Techno-preneur: Successful Entrepreneurs Adopting Innovations, EntrePinoy: 25 Success Stories, 25 Inspiring Entrepreneurs and ASKI at 30: Continuing the Journey to Serve Humanity.I became a member of the Philippine Agricultural Journalists, Inc. in 2007 to present. I also served as the Junior Adviser of Communicators for Development (CODE), an organization of Development Communication students in CLSU from 2008 to 2010.