PSAU Síbul TBI to kickstart “incubation” of farmers, agripreneurs

The Síbul Technology Business Incubator (TBI) of Pampanga State Agricultural University (PSAU) is set to start the incubation program for Kapampángan farmers and agripreneurs, now formally called “incubatees” in June 2022. This came after the ceremonial Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing held on 19 May 2022 at the University Food Center, PSAU, Magalang, Pampanga. 

“This momentous MOA signing officially marks the start of the incubatees’ journey towards sustainable agribusiness development through our incubation program,” PSAU officer-in-charge and concurrent vice president for academic affairs Dr. Anita G. David said. 

“We hope that through this program, we will be able to see more agribusinesses thrive in the mainstream market in the next few years and prove that we are a valuable asset of our business landscape in Pampanga and the whole of Central Luzon.” David added. 

Established on 20 October 2021, the Síbul TBI aims to empower farmers, fisherfolk, agripreneurs, technology innovators, and other clients in starting or scaling up their agri-based micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) focusing on agriculture and fisheries and opening the doors to incubatees who would like to explore agribusinesses on digital technology, logistics, education, food, or other related areas. 

The incubation is an all-encompassing term for services and resources relevant in running an enterprise such as, but not limited to, entrepreneurship and skills development, technology innovation and commercialization, technical support, and access to facilities, among others. 

“It is our mandate to assist them in taking their agri-based MSMEs to the next level through research and innovation—improving the market readiness of technologies for commercialization,” Intellectual Property and Technology Business Management director and concurrent TBI project leader Walter L. Pacunana said. 

“Through the Síbul TBI, we hope to achieve a paradigm shift in the way Filipinos see and perceive our local agro-fishery communities by promoting agrinnovation and enterprise creation,” Pacunana added. 

The DA-BAR and the DOST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development provided support in the implementation of the PSAU’s TBI program. 

Incubatees also shared their enthusiasm and insights on the program. 

 “This incubation program is a good opportunity for us, farmers, in gaining more knowledge in terms of crop production and product development… also, in operating our [would-be] businesses,” Maricon Arcega of the Florida-Lubao Organic Farmers’ Association said on behalf of the incubates. 

Richard Sarmiento, PSAU fisheries student specializing on catfish production, moreover said, “This opportunity means a lot to me as I will be more trained and guided in becoming an agripreneur.” 

The Síbul TBI is still accepting interested Filipino applicants for the incubation program, batch 1. They must have initial capital and resources, willingness to learn technical expertise on PSAU’s agri-based technologies, and commitment to start or scale up their own agribusinesses. (### Keanu Aebramh G. Costales / Pampanga State Agricultural University)