By: Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, Seoul

Seoul, 24 July 2020 - The Philippine Embassy conducted its 2nd Agri-Business Webinar focusing on INTEGRATED FARMING AND VALUE-ADDING AGRI-ENTERPRISES for Filipinos in Korea on July 18, 2020.

The KKK 2020 Agribusiness Webinar participants along with Charge d'affaires, a.i. Christian L. De Jesus, Agriculture Attache Aleli Maghirang, Labor Attache Maya Valderrama, Welfare Officer Pops Deuna, DA-ACPC Ms. Emmalyn Guinto, and CEO Jonathan "Joni" Sanchez, the main resource speaker on Integrated Farming and Value Adding Agri-Enterprises with JASIF. (photo credit to PINK President Maria Mimay Robregado)
The online event is the 2nd in a series of the Kaalaman, Kabuhayan para sa Kinabukasan (KKK) 2020 Agri-business Reintegration Program spearheaded by the Philippine Agriculture Office (PAO), in partnership with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Pinoy Investors in Korea (PINK).

The free Webinar was participated in by more than 40 Filipinos based in Korea and the Philippines, with Mr. Jonathan "Joni" Sanchez, CEO of Joni and Susan Agroshop Incorporated as the main resource speaker of the online course. Mr. Sanchez is the proprietor of the famous Joni and Susan Agroshop and Integrated Farms (JASIF), a DOT-Accredited Tourism Farm in Laguna province.
In his opening remarks, Charge d'affaires, a.i. Christian L. de Jesus underscored the importance of continuing government efforts to promote agribusiness during this time of economic uncertainty amid the COVID-19 global pandemic. "We encourage our countrymen to take part in the growth and enhancement of the agriculture and fishing sectors in the Philippines. By partnering with the government, we can work together to achieve food security which is susceptible to disruption during this pandemic. By supporting the twin efforts of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), we hope that more OFWs in Korea will become agri-entrepreneurs and invest in agri-business," the CDA said.

Agriculture Attache Aleli Maghirang enjoined the participants to be the government's "Food Partners" towards the attainment of food security in the Philippines. Quoting Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar, she highlighted that "No pandemic can bury our dreams and aspirations; no lockdown can slow us down. Let us turn challenges into opportunities to survive and move forward towards a food-secure and resilient Philippines with prosperous farmers and fishers."
The 2nd KKK 2020 Agribusiness Webinar underscored the pioneering efforts of JASIF on integrated farming and value added agri-enterprises such as the cultivation of corn, mushroom and greenhouse high value crops. Mr. Sanchez motivated the participants by sharing how his enterprise started as a small hobby farm which has now grown into one of the country's biggest corn producers and a popular agri-tourism destination with their "Bigasan ng Bayan," water refilling station, trucking services, an all-year-round sunflower maze and farm site tours, and greenhouse restaurant that serves their fresh produce.

Towards the end of the seminar, Mr. Joni Sanchez shared helpful tips on container gardening and revealed to the participants JASIF's portfolios for OFW investments, which generated interest and inquiries from the audience.

For those who lack capital and need additional financing assistance to start their own agri-enterprise in the Philippines, the DA Agriculture Credit and Policy Council represented by their Chief Communication and Public Affairs Officer Ms. Emmalyn Guinto, announced the various Credit programs of DA to support the OFWs.

The Philippine Embassy through PAO Seoul and POLO-OWWA will continue to conduct free webinars under the KKK 2020 Agri-business Reintegration Program. END

26 July 2020