The Aboitiz Group has partnered with the Department of Agriculture (DA) for a nationwide mentoring program that targets to help agriculture-related small and medium enterprises (SMEs) become digital.

(Photo courtesy of the Department of Agriculture)

In partnership with DA, the Aboitiz Group launched “Byaheng Digiskarte ni Ani at Kita” or BiDA Kita, a mentoring program designed to help agri-enterprises digitalize their business operations.

In a statement, Aboitiz said this initiative is under the enterprise development program of Aboitiz Foundation. This program will match agri-enterprises with expert mentors to discuss various topics, such as using mobile phones, internet, email, and video conferencing; establishing a digital presence through social media and e-commerce platforms; enhancing skills in digital marketing, and using applications for business operations.

This program supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 8, ‘Decent work and Economic Growth’ as it empowers MSMEs and cooperative members with technical skills, financial and infrastructure support, and access to markets to help grow and expand their businesses.

The program has an initial enrollment of over 30 MSMEs and cooperatives in two regions and is expected to benefit over 150 individuals, according to Aboitiz Foundation.

During the launch of the project, Agriculture Secretary William Dar emphasized that the push for the digitalization of the country’s agricultural sector has been one of DA’s goals especially under the new normal.

“With the use of mobile phones, internet, and other online platforms, they [agri entrepreneurs] will be able to effectively reach more buyers, improve business, and organizational operations and enhance member services,” Dar said.

Dar also highlighted the importance of helping and empowering the agri-fisheries sector by providing them with the technical marketing and financial support they need.

“We are thankful to the Aboitiz Foundation, UnionBank, Bayad Center, GCash, IOT Valley and Philippine Association of Agriculturist Inc., for being part of our goal in digitalizing Philippine agriculture. We look forward to more partnerships like this, where we can help our farmers and fisherfolks achieve their ‘masaganang ani at mataas na kita,“ he further said.

As for Aboitiz Foundation, digital technology is not only a solution but also a powerful tool to help solve various challenges of enterprises.

“We came up with the project ‘Byaheng Digiskarte’ because we want to help enterprises overcome their daily challenges by using mobile phones, internet, social media, and e-commerce platforms. While a general appreciation of the opportunities offered by digital transformation is emerging, many enterprises continue to lack orientation and fail to prioritize digitization,” Aboitiz Foundation President and COO Maribeth L. Marasigan said.

“Meanwhile, at the community level, the farmers need support in keeping up with the times to make them more digitally literate and capable,” she added.

Source: Manila Bulletin (