Raising the agri R4D with ATBI

Technology business incubation (TBI) is viewed as an economic development tool primarily aimed at assisting communities in the formation of new businesses. In a nutshell, it helps startups by providing the services they require to grow and thrive.

In the Philippines, government institutions have gotten more interested in using TBI as part of their interventions to create a more conducive environment for business innovations and mechanisms.

As it pivots to a more impact-driven pathway, the DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) highlights the Agricultural Technology Business Incubation (ATBI) as an essential tool and platform to raise the BAR of agri R4D excellence.

The DA-BAR ATBI program focuses on empowering and strengthening the capacities of research for development-based incubators so that they can extend necessary support, guidance, and mentorship to incubatees–farmer cooperatives and associations (FCAs) and other stakeholders, who seek to establish agri-fisheries technology-based enterprises.

“ATBI is more of a capacity building platform. It would serve as a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs, FCAs who will enroll in this facility. They will learn how to effectively manage their business, through incubator services,” said OIC-director Joell H. Lales.

Through the TBIs, incubatees may be provided with technical assistance, physical resources, business management services, and access to available mature technologies.

For 2023, the bureau will focus its ATBI support on DA regional field offices.

“We have existing ATBIs through state universities and colleges; however we cannot be too reliant on them. Instead, we shifted our focus to capacitate DA regional field offices as frontliners in local agriculture technology to become ATBIs,” said OIC-director Lales.

All throughout the incubation process, the DA-BAR will closely monitor the ATBIs to ensure the success of the incubatees.

“[The incubatees] will stay there, then after a while they will graduate and [hopefully] will become agri-entrepreneurs,” said OIC-director Lales.

“The challenge (to our ATBIs) is sustainability. [They] must find means and ways to support their [ATBI] operation through income-generating methods,” added OIC-director Lales.

Starting 2023, the bureau has underscored ATBI and the Community-based R4DE Program for Farm Productivity and Sustainability (CPAR) as its flagship programs to ensure scaling and utility of ready and mature agricultural technologies to farmers, fishers, and communities.  (### Kathleen Mae B. Bulquerin)