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Agri-Entrepreneurship Simplified Arthur Yap s The Art of Agribusiness is a beehive of engaging stories about people w ho surmounted the

odds. Through the years that we ve been working and mingling with people in agribusiness , entrepreneurship has always been viewed as a seemingly far-fetched, unattainab le concept. We ve always heard people say, yes we want to be entrepreneurs, but we just don t have the business knack. Or we don t have the capital and the oft repeated p hrase: it s too risky. And while we listen to these doubtful and fearful voices, we can t help but wonder: maybe entrepreneurship sounds too esoteric and academic, th at s why it hasn t gained that much following. The dictionary defines an entrepreneur as a person who organizes and manages an e nterprise, especially a business usually with considerable initiative and risk. T he operative words are clear: organize, manage, initiative and risk. This means being an entrepreneur is not manna from heaven but is something that someone wor ks on diligently usually from scratch. And while a business degree or an MBA from reputable schools can definitely help in pursuing a career in entrepreneurship, our experiences tell us that it is not a guarantee for success, as we have seen countless men and women who never went to school but relied on large doses of co mmon sense, street-smart attitude, networking and guts to succeed in their entre preneurial endeavors. This is why we are so happy to learn that our friend and colleague, DA Secretary Arthur Yap came up with this sleek coffee table book entitled: The Art of Agribu siness: 111 and More Success Stories in Agri Entrepreneurship to help spread the word to all our kababayans that in this challenging times, becoming an agrientre preneur might just be our way to rise above our economic woes. We ourselves have always dreamt of documenting the success stories of agri-entrepreneurs and in o ur own humble way, have done our bit of share through this magazine you re reading . Several years ago, when MARID was still a project of USAID, we used the televi sion medium and produced a telemagazine program called Agrilink. As everyone kno ws, Agrilink is now known as our annual agribusiness international trade fair an d exhibit. Still, we are glad that DA has spearheaded this coffee table book all o f 280 pages and featured more than tit successful Filipinos who have made it big i n agribusiness. Divided into crops, livestock and poultry and fisheries, Yap s book is a visual ma rvel that captures not only the entrepreneurs in action, but also our country s ri ch abundance in natural resources. For example, Ananias Culiado s coconut and processing business in Compostela Valle y tells the story of a former seaman who gave up the ocean for the farm. Elino L amberto Pigtain s love for fruit wines inspired him to dream big and mark a dent i n the fierce world of global wine exports (the wines, according to the book, eve n landed in Tom Cruise s wedding table). Anna India de la Cruz Legaspi s Heritage Cr afts enterprise not only helped employ the marginalized poor in Kalibo, Aklan, i t also revived the heritage of the province s fiber industry. Lito Arenas passion f or mango farming served as the root of his strength and pushed him to become the Mango King of Urdaneta Pangasinan. Josefina Manalo s discovery of malunggay s rich potentials became her passport to wealth and fame. Even the serene Benedictine M onks in Malaybalay Bukidnon discovered that one can be pious and holy and still succeed in the coffee business. And of course, our very own Mrs. Dulce Gozon, th e undisputed Onion Queen, who happens to be our co-columnist in this magazine, h as her own story to share how she managed, upheld and sustained her father s onion b usiness and made it soar into the competitive world of onion exports. These are just some of the lit success stories whose lessons need to be imparted to those who also want to be their own boss. For those of you who are planning to embark on a new career or are seriously thi nking of venturing into the world of agribusiness, this book is a must read. Thi s will set you in the right mood as you plan and prepare for the challenges faci ng the Year of the Tiger. And the stories you will read can act as your muses ju st before you roll up your sleeves and get yourselves to work. These are also stories of people burning with passion, grit, and determination. People whose failures taught them well and encouraged them to rise proudly every

. All in all.time they fall. People who dared to dream and traverse through the bumpy road l ess travelled. this is agri-entrepreneurship simplified.