TWO weeks ago, the Philippines, as part of its hosting of the 50th ASEAN Anniversary, held the ASEAN Agriculture Summit 2017 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. The theme for the Summit was “Agripreneurship: Uplifting Lives Towards Prosperity for All”.
Agripreneur is, of course, a play on Agriculture and Entrepreneur. Where entrepreneurship is involved, trust that Joey Concepcion, the GO NEGOSYO founder and presidential adviser on Entrepreneurship, won’t be far behind.
Indeed, this Summit is but another feather in Joey’s cap, and with the sheer number of feathers that Joey has accumulated, so to speak, that cap is starting to look like the headdress of an American Indian chieftain.
Uplifting lives towards prosperity for all is not just anchored on the Asean thrust, but also on the economic development and poverty reduction agenda of the Duterte administration.
The Summit is “a first step forward to bring together and mobilize key ecosystem stakeholders into crafting and actualizing an integrated framework for Agripreneurship as integral to prosperous Philippine agriculture.”
According to the ASEAN Summit website, the summit “will focus on informing, inspiring and connecting Asean Agri-Ecosystem Stakeholders toward adopting and supporting the modernization and Industrialization of agriculture thru Agripreneurship as a sustainable strategy for poverty alleviation, growth, rural development.“
Aside from Joey Concepcion, who also chairs the Asean Business Advisory Council, other keynote speakers include Senator Cynthia Villar, the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and a known advocate for the sector; Dr. William Dar, President of the Inang Lupa Foundation, who once served with me in the Estrada administration as Agriculture Secretary and presidential adviser on Rural Development; and, of course, Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, a true-blooded Mindanaoan who once served as Governor and Representative of Cotabato province.
Secretary Piñol is optimistic on the overall performance of agriculture this year. He expects the local farm sector to grow by 6.2 percent due to improved crop output, a far cry from last year’s 1.4 percent agri output which was wrought by extreme weather conditions.
Agripreneurship is in good hands with Joey Concepcion and Manny Piñol at the helm. Both men are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and get down and dirty. With their hands, of course.
I wish them all the best.