Cebuano entrepreneur diversifies into agribusiness-A A +A
Monday, July 16, 2012
CEBUANO entrepreneur Rey Calooy has diversified into agribusiness, after seeing a huge potential in agriculture.
“I am now also an agri-preneur,” said Calooy, who already runs a trading company and a noodle manufacturing plant.
Using idle lots he acquired from his ancestors, Calooy converted about half a hectare in Bohol and Leyte into an organic integrated farm with less than P100,000 as an initial investment.
He planted a variety of vegetables and allotted a space in the farm so he could raise native chickens, hogs and some ducks, which will be organically fed.
“Agriculture is one of the thriving sectors untapped by many. I have an idle lot so I thought of utilizing it and making a business out of it,” he said.
Calooy said that with this venture, he hopes to inspire other “agri-preneurs”, especially those who have idle lots.
“This kind of venture is a long-term one and is sustainable,” he said, adding that the key lies in creating value-added products and services.
The harvest, Calooy said, will be used to supply the requirements of his wife Nescita’s new food business, called Ness Burger and Coffee, in Lagtang, Talisay, which recently opened.
“We will serve organic chicken burger and veggie burger, among others. We will cook the organic hogs we raised into lechon or make pork siomai or supply organic hog and Peking ducks to high-end hotels here,” Calooy said.
Calooy said he learned farming not only from his childhood days but also from the training he participated in such as a three-day natural farming seminar in Panabo City, Davao.
“Agribusiness has become popular among small and medium enterprises. We now have a growing number of members of the Filipino-Cebuano Business Club Inc. (FCBI) diversifying into agri-business,” said Calooy, who is the president of FCBI.
Calooy owns RNC Marketing Philippines, one of Cebu’s supply distribution companies. He also owns Rhea Noemi Food Products, a noodle products manufacturer, and My Partners International Trading Inc., a consumers marketing division.
He encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to venture into agribusiness. “You’ll become highly profitable in this business because it is consumption-driven. People need what you produce,” he said.
The National Economic Development Authority (Neda) has said that in order for the Philippines to attain inclusive growth, it should focus on increasing agriculture and industry productivity.
“If we have a robust agricultural sector, this will keep food prices down and put less pressure on increasing wages prematurely. This will make industry more competitive,” said Neda Director General Arsenio Balicasan.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 17, 2012.