Wednesday, August 12, 2020

New mentoring programme to help farmers become entrepreneurs

Jul 02. 2020
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By THE NATION

The Department of Agricultural Economics has launched the "Agri Biz Idol" campaign to promote agricultural entrepreneurs using mentoring system in eight categories.

“In the pilot phase of ‘Agri Biz Idol’, we will select 80 farmers countrywide who have strong business plans to increase their product values using new technology under smart farming or smart production approaches,” said Chalermchai Srion, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives. “This campaign will be divided into eight categories of agricultural industries: organic agriculture, community enterprise, agricultural product processing, agricultural tourism, high-technology agriculture, industrial agriculture, mega-farm enterprises and agricultural services.”

Khemkhaeng Yutithamdamrong, director-general of the department, further added that the project will provide selected candidates with coaching and hands-on training by professional mentors in specific fields. “The mentors will also help guide farmers throughout the business development process until they can increase product values or even expand into new markets and related industries,” he added.

“We also hope that the ‘Agri Biz Idol’ will help inspire other farmers in their community to become entrepreneurs or businesspeople in agricultural industries instead of just being a producer,” said Khemkhaeng. “When the campaign ends, the selected farmers must be able to utilise new technology and innovation to improve their enterprise as well as establish a network of agricultural entrepreneurs to exchange know-how and jointly come up with new products to serve customers’ needs in the new normal era.”

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