Lakbay-Palay is a PhilRice major activity done during the dry and wet seasons. It gathers thousands of farmers as well as students, researchers, and decision makers from different parts of the country. PhilRice organised this event recently with the theme Ang magsasakang madiskarte, negosyante, which aimed to prepare farmers to be ‘agripreneurs’ and teach them the various rice-based production systems by which they could earn additional income. The Institute invited Ms. Leticia Basubas, owner of MSC Food Products to inspire farmers to venture in agricultural entrepreneurship and teach them basic marketing principles related to farming as a business. Basubas is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country for selling rice-based products. Her company has also explored processing herbal plants into different products. During the program, she reminded the farmers that in doing business, they need to be “persevering and honest.” She added, “What gives me inspiration as an entrepreneur is the fact that I am able to help the community by providing employment to those who need it.”
PhilRice’s Palayamanan Plus has used strategies to transform farmers from rice producers to agripreneurs. During the field tour, farmers were briefed on various rice-based enterprises that could help boost and diversify their income. Other sites that were visited by the farmers during the tour included the FutureRice Farm, farm machinery demo, Palayabangan: The 10-5 Challenge, breeder seed production, azolla production, and the Rice Science Museum. Palayabangan is an initiative that provides opportunities for all players in the rice sector to show what they can do to improve yield and reduce production cost. Palayabangan aims to level up the rice production standard to 10-5, i.e., 10 tons/ha yield (or 200 cav) at only P5 input cost per kilogram of palay.