Chairman's Message

Shaping up Communities through Agripreneurship

In 1993, when the Foundations for People Development (FPD) was established, the individuals that comprised FPD saw that it is only through a concerted effort that we can make lasting transformation in impoverished communities.

We endeavored to propagate the knowledge, skills, values and enterprising mindset that will enable people to develop their communities. We endeavored to build a network of enterprise development institutions across the Philippines because we believe that enhancing the potential of agriculture is the way to create vibrant economies in the countryside.

After 20 years, we at FPD are delighted to see the fruits of our labor.

At the national level, breakthrough came on September 3, 2013 when President Benigno S. Aquino III signed into law the Rural Farm Schools Act which provides for the establishment of family farm schools in every province. More provinces are also embracing the Farm Business School model which we have been advocating since 2010.

We likewise expect continued harvest from the various communities where FPD and its partners have established Community Business Technology Centers (CBTC) which provide viable livelihood projects and inspiration as each CBTC strives to showcase best farm practices.

Our first batch of scholars under our education programs from Benguet and Negros Oriental graduated in October 2012, while 31 scholars from Palawan completed the requirements for the Diploma in EcoFarm Tourism Entrepreneurship last September.

Currently, we have 23 first-year scholars in Negros Occidental under the Diploma in Entrepreneurship (DE) program, while students from Negros Oriental are poised to complete the DE program in MFI Farm Business Institute (MFI-FBI) in April 2014.

MFI-FBI is our first education partner for the DE program where 9 students are in their second year, and 19 are in their first year. Another 17 FPD scholars are taking up the same course. This brings the total of 170 scholars that we have supported since the program started in 2010.

Meanwhile, our partnership with successful farms in the country has never been stronger. With our Farms-Schools Network, our students receive valuable mentorship and experience in farm business. Our partners help us spread the concept of agri-tourism and promote the "Grow Local Eat Local Movement" which aims to address issues of food security in every town and city.

Truly, solidarity has been the key to what FPD has been able to accomplish in the past 20 years. With the continued support and cooperation of our partners in the government, other nonprofit organizations, and individuals, we can look forward to a bountiful future for the Philippines because we have invested in the most important resource of all, our people.

Dr. Jesus P. Estanislao
Chairman, FPD