Agribusiness opportunities for young entrepreneurs PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 11 October 2015 14:09

by Nonoy Lacson

Young people, including students taking up business courses, should seriously consider career and livelihood opportunities in agribusiness which is one of the most robust but generally overlooked industries in the Philippines, the top executive of a leading agribusiness conglomerate said.

Mr. Ricardo C. Alba, president and COO of Univet Nutrition and Animal Healthcare Company (UNAHCO), said there are huge business and career potentials in animal production (swine, poultry, goat, aqua), agriculture (vegetables, fruits, grains farming), food processing, distribution, dealership and retail of feed and veterinary products, among others.

“Agribusiness is the industry that feeds our people, all 100 million of us,” Alba said. “And there is no way for agriculture-related businesses to go but up as food consumption increases, so I urge our students and our young people to seriously consider careers and business opportunities in agriculture.”

Alba invited heads of the country’s top colleges and universities to send their students to the Agrilink, Foodlink, and Aqualink 2015, the biggest and most well-attended agribusiness exhibition in the Philippines which will be held from  Oct. 15 to 17 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

“Your students will surely gain new perspectives about this dynamic and growing industry and hopefully, open doors for them to a bright, fulfilling and exciting world that provides food on the table for more than 100 million Filipinos three times a day, 365 days a year,” he said in his letter to the business schools.

He said marketing students in particular will learn a lot of things by attending Agrilink because they will see first-hand how agribusiness companies in the Philippines market their products and services. The three-day exhibit is open to the public for free.

Aside from the exhibit, students and exhibit visitors can attend various seminars to be conducted by industry experts from the Philippines and abroad during the three-day event. They are also free and open to the public.

One of the seminar topics include “Maximizing Productivity and Efficiency of the Modern Sow” to be conducted by Dr. Kathryn Price, a swine nutritionist connected with Akey. It is sponsored by UNAHCO and will be held at Function Room 2 of the World Trade Center on Oct. 15 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

On Oct. 16 at Function Room 1, two seminars will be sponsored by Sarimanok Poultry. These are “Sustainable Duck Farming” by Dr. Erwin Joseph Cruz (10:30 to 11:30 a.m.), followed by “Productive Layer Farming” by Dr. Xabier Arbe Ugalde of Novus from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

UNAHCO has been a major sponsor of Agrilink for the past 17 years through its business units such as Univet, Pigrolac Hog Feeds, Sarimanok Poultry, UNAHCO Commercial Farm Group (CFG), and UNAGRO (Univet Agronomy).

This year, Yum Yum, UNAHCO’s newly-launched dog food brand in the market, will also be part of the exhibition. Yum Yum will have a Dog Café on Saturday, Oct. 17, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the World Trade Center lobby where dog lovers will get the chance to meet and interact with different dog breeds.

Another reason for UNAHCO’s bullish participation in industry events like Agrilink is the company’s 50th year founding anniversary in 2016.

“We have been serving the Filipino animal raisers for almost 50 years now and we are truly grateful to our loyal customers and partners for their continuing trust, patronage and support,” Alba said. “One way of thanking them is through our promotion of livelihood opportunities in agribusiness, and Agrilink is a perfect venue for this.”

He said UNAHCO believes in the mission of FRLD (Foundation for Resource Linkage and Development), organizer of Agrilink, to bring together all agricultural, animal, and food industry stakeholders under one roof to update them on the latest trends and innovations in terms of product and technology and to establish linkages and network among stakeholders.

Through knowledge and technology transfer, Agrilink has contributed much to the growth of the agriculture, animal, and food industries which in turn provide employment and livelihood opportunities to millions of Filipino farmers, Alba said.

Agrilink also actively supports the Department of Agriculture’s program to promote food safety and security for the growing Filipino population. — Nonoy E Lacson