The Agri-based Enterprise Systems Program (AGRIBEST) aims to promote sustainable communities through developing the farmers to become agri-entrepreneurs using the tested Catholic Relief Services (CRS) 8-step clustering approach for agro-enterprise development of small farmers. The program is geared towards Climate Smart Agriculture which considers the effects of climate change that bring about unstable weather conditions.
Climate Smart Agriculture is an effort to safeguard against the risks brought about by natural calamities by reducing the impact of disasters at the farm level. The integration of short and long gestating crops, livestock and cash crops give the farmer added security against total loss of produce in times of calamities.
Launched in 2014, AGRIBEST is being pilot-tested in Region 10 by four different cooperatives, two which are small and two are large cooperatives per asset size. Though independent, the four cooperatives will form one cluster of cooperatives creating a value-chain. A value chain identified to offer a good chance for farmers to participate and gain in value adding activities is piggery in partnership with the business service provider, FEEDPRO (ProNatural Feed Corporation).
Pigs produced by farmers supported by the AGRIBEST will be sold and processed by other cooperative members that are into marketing and processing of pork meat, as well as marketed to institutional buyers. At this point, the MASS-SPECC MSME Cluster Program will provide entrepreneurship, management and technical trainings through the Business Development Service Department (BDS) of the cooperatives.