Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF), the social development arm of Jollibee Group, and the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which aims to further enrich their efforts in developing the entrepreneurial capacity of smallholder producers and link to agriculture value chains.
“This partnership is an important milestone for farmer entrepreneurs. PCAARRD’s expertise in research and development in agriculture will surely help create access to more technologies that can enhance farmers’ livelihood to become more profitable,” said Gisela Tiongson, executive director of JGF.
The agreement between DOST-PCAARRD and JGF focuses on further promoting sustainable agricultural practices through technology transfer, access to knowledge, and tools to enhance productivity. It also aims to improve research and development activities to bring forth science and technology-based solutions for agri-aqua enterprises.
The program also includes networking and market linkages to ensure the viability of agro-enterprises. Of this, DOST-PCAARRD Executive Director Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora said, “We believe that this partnership for agro-entrepreneurship will strengthen PCAARRD’s efforts in addressing technology gaps to improve quality and productivity, as well as in building the capacities of farmer groups and partner LGUs to provide opportunities to tap institutional markets. We are also certain that this will pave the way to strengthen the implementation of projects and activities with the end goal of achieving JGF’s mission and PCAARRD’s mandates.”
This initiative also supports JGF’s Farmer Entrepreneurship Program (FEP), which empowers and helps smallholder farmers sharpen their technical and business acumen, as well as partnership-building skills. FEP uses the Agro-Enterprise Clustering Approach to assist farmer groups supplying Jollibee Group and other markets. To date, Jollibee Group has accredited 18 farmer groups across the country that supply more than 9,000 metric tons of vegetables to the company, which accounts for more than P360 million in total sales.
The MOU signing was held at the DOST-PCAARRD Innovation and Technology Center in the presence of (seated, from left): (JGF Executive Director Gisela Tiongson (seated, third from left); JGF Senior Program Manager Ma Laize Ar Cruzat (seated, fourth from left); DOST-PCAARRD Executive Director Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora (seated, second from left); and DOST Undersecretary Leah J. Buendia (seated, first from left).