Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Monsanto, Gawad Kalinga Introduce First Batch of Graduate Scholars under Entrepreneurship Program

Four (4) Monsanto-SEED scholars proudly showcase their products from their respective enterprises – a result of their 2-year enterprise management study at SEED. 
Entrepreneurship program to produce first batch of scholars

Monsanto Philippines, in partnership with Gawad Kalinga (GK), is set to introduce the first batch of young entrepreneurs who will graduate from a two-year enterprise management course of GK’s School for Experiential and Entrepreneurial Development (GK-SEED) Program. Thirty (30) scholars sponsored by Monsanto are expected to graduate under the SEED Program.  

Established in 2014, GK’s SEED program offers an education-based solution to rural development. SEED prepares students to create social enterprises that will develop rural areas through rural job and wealth creation. It serves as a pilot that will be replicated to provide a quality education to thousands in communities across the Philippines.

“It is the first school to be training people from the bottom of the pyramid, specifically the young to actually learn business. We don’t teach the poor employment, we teach them to become employers,” said Mark Lawrence Cruz, Director of GK-SEED Philippines. “The students undergo an intensive two-year program wherein they take a variety of courses that focus on character development, enterprise management, communications, business math, and agriculture,” Cruz explained. 

Gladys Parohinog, one of the first batch of scholars from Butuan grew up supporting her own studies while working for her family. She came from a farmer’s family who do not have a permanent house in Cotabato City. “Gawad Kalinga did not only give us a house but they also helped us build our capabilities,” Gladys expressed. She is now developing her own enterprise named Fabu-roots, showcasing products made from root crops. 

John Paul Jose, a 22-year-old who belong to a tribal community in Nueva Vizcaya also shared how the scholarship changed his perceptions in life. “I was conditioned at a young age that when you belong to a tribal community, you are not capable of doing something great. It was like a line was drawn for the poor. But when I found SEED, they did not just allow me to cross that line, but they allowed me to define my own line,” he shared. On June, John Paul will be graduating as one of the top social entrepreneurs of his batch. He is currently expanding his enterprise called Oasis Chips, promoting the production of world-class indigenous root-crop products. 

Meanwhile, Monsanto’s Corporate Affairs Lead, Charina Garrido-Ocampo, said “our partnership with Gawad Kalinga has been on-going for more than four years now. It’s a long-standing partnership--we started with Bayan-Anihan Farms in North Luzon and Mindanao, then moved to building Monsanto Village in IloIlo, and now sponsoring 30 scholars and building a two-storey dormitory here in Bulacan. We really hope that we can continue this partnership, as we support a unique strategy towards ending poverty.” 

Director Cruz thanked Monsanto for the support given to the 30 scholars. Cruz said “I tell the scholars that they don’t need to be born with a good name to be able to get good opportunities. They may have been born poor, but they will not die poor. That if you give them the right opportunities, they will grab it and make it worth our while.”

Monsanto-GK SEED scholars pose with GK-SEED Director, Mark Lawrence Cruz (far left), Monsanto’s Corporate Engagement Lead, Charina Garrido-Ocampo (center), and Monsanto’s CE Officer, Paulyne Nathalie Ordillo (far right).

About Monsanto Philippines
Monsanto Philippines is a local unit of Monsanto, a Fortune 500 global power company with a diverse portfolio of advanced biotechnology products produced in 404 facilities in 66 countries. To date, Monsanto Philippines has four facilities spread out across the country, which includes its head office in Alabang, a Refuge-in-a-Bag (RIB) Plant and cold warehouse located in Bulacan, and an R&D station in Mindanao. The company also has partnerships with the Philippine government through the Department of Agriculture as well as the local scientific and academic communities in the promotion of modern agricultural biotechnology. To learn more, please visit www.monsanto.ph.

About Monsanto
Monsanto is committed to bringing a broad range of solutions to help nourish our growing world. We produce seeds for fruits, vegetables and key crops – such as corn, soybeans, sorghum, canola, and cotton – that help farmers have better harvests while using water and other important resources more efficiently. We work to find sustainable solutions for soil health, help farmers use data to improve farming practices and conserve natural resources, and provide crop protection products to minimize damage from pests and disease. Through programs and partnerships, we collaborate with farmers, researchers, nonprofit organizations, universities and others to help tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges.

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