Who are we? 5 questions with Dream Agritech
Dream Agritech is a diverse group composed of individuals from different fields of expertise. Such a collection of individuals falls in line with the company's mindset that all bases should be covered when it comes to planning for your venture into farming. We get to know them a little bit better by asking them 5 questions. To get to know them more individually, click on this link right here or click on their names below.
Here are their responses:
Question 1: What made you decide to join Dream Agritech?
Ivana: Systematic, holistic approach in dealing with concerns of farm management. How to start and what should be the considerations, for people who sees themselves as newbies into farming
Joel: It’s mission and vision is every Philippine Agriculturist’s dream; it is PRO-farmer; and It aims to make the youth be involved in the agriculture sector–see its beauty, and sustainability.
Chad: I thought that my primary role for Dream was being the company's graphic artist, given that I came up with the logo. Then I saw the vision of Dream and I was exposed to Dax's infectious passion for the company and I thought that I should just give it a shot. Years, and a bit of a hiatus later, here we are.
Lance: My interest in helping to uplift the current situation of agriculture in the Philippines is the main reason why I decided to join Dream Agritech. As an agriculturist, it is heartbreaking for me to know that most of the people look down on the workers of agriculture industry and that there is less percentage of people who are interested to venture in the field of agriculture. Many people do not realize how important agriculture is and they don’t see agriculture as a profitable industry. I want to change this mindset of the people towards agriculture; I want to make them realize the importance of agriculture, not only in our daily lives, but also the importance and potential of agriculture sector to help uplift our country’s economy. I share the same passion with Dream in its quest to rebuild the reputation of Philippine Agriculture and make it more enticing to the eyes of the people, especially the younger
generation. By improving the agriculture sector, we will also empower our farmers and improve their way of living.
Jim: As someone who has been exposed to the academe, research, extension and policy aspects of agriculture, I’ve always seen the private sector as a crucial component in terms of agricultural development. Knowing the passion and interest of the man behind the creation of Dream Agritech, it was an absolute delight to be invited to join the team of a new and unique agribusiness venture. Dream is not your normal agri consultancy firm. I firmly support its goal to transform idle lands to ideal farm developments, and empower Filipinos to plant, grow, and harvest as key agents in achieving food security in the country whilst uplifting the lives of those in the rural areas.
Louise: I have always been interested in agriculture as a profession and while pursuing my human ecology degree, its importance was also highlighted. On how human existence basically depends on the satisfaction of the basic human needs such as food. Dream was a refreshing take for millenials like me on how farming should also include the right land use planning and utilization.
Jasper: I always believed how important agriculture to achieve progress particularly in a developing country. Living outside the country made it challenging for me to do that so I decided to join Dream Agritech (DA) so I can continue to contribute in encouraging the importance of agriculture particularly to the younger generation. I also believe in the necessity of having a sustainable agricultural sector in order for a country to have a competitive advantage in terms of its economy.
Question 2: How do you envision Dream Agritech helping in the increase of investments in the Agriculture industry?
Ivana: Technology development and increasing technological knowledge of the Filipino farmers.
Joel: I see Dream Agritech as an educator or a mentor who will help people get into Agriculture.
Chad: I've always thought that Dream should have a more systemic approach to achieving its goals. Create awareness sa problem ng Agri. Tell them how they can help sa level nila. Tell them what they can get from it. Then you'll see investments come in from different levels and capacities.
Lance: In my opinion, many actually believe that agriculture is really a great venture for investment. However many are reluctant to “dive in” because their knowledge on how agricultural systems works is not that broad and also they are afraid because they do not know where to get enough information on how they can start their agricultural enterprise. With Dream Agritech, first and foremost, we are making the image of agriculture industry enticing to the eyes of the people and making it interesting for the investors. We are trying to enlighten the minds of others about how they can make profit out of agriculture and how they can help uplift the country’s economy and the lives of our countrymen thru agriculture. If there is enough information available for these investors, the risk will be lesser for them and their interest to venture into agriculture will be greater. Dream Agritech can help these investors to start their business in agriculture. We can offer support from planning up until the implementation of the project to somehow assure them that their business will run smoothly with all the help that we can give.
Jim: I think the crucial aspect of Dream Agritech is that it helps people in the urban areas of the country, who want to farm, to be able to do so by understanding the technical aspect of agriculture. One of the biggest barriers to investing in agriculture is the lack of information or understanding of the technical aspects which have significant impacts on venturing into an agri-enterprise. With Dream Agritech’s team of highly capable specialists, we make sure that all angles of the challenges to establishing a dream agribusiness are covered. Once the Filipinos understand that agriculture is profitable as long as the technical know-how is present, we can expect more of our kababayans investing in agriculture.
Louise: We at Dream Agritech have always planned to mediate between landowners and investors. We all have different resources. Some have the land but not the money to start their farming investment and some have the money but not the land. We envision to support, in all aspects, not only the landowners but the investors themselves.
Jasper: By continually establishing farms (in untended land areas) and showing how having a sustainable farm can contribute to improving the quality of living. Another potential venture can be in terms of improving from farm to market into farm to table (i.e., fresh produce harvested and delivered to consumers’ dining tables).
Question 3: How can Dream Agritech attract people, especially the youth, into Agriculture?
Ivana: Creativity and out-of-the box approaches to promote sustainable and safe food production is always welcoming for the youth who sees farming as an already constructed plan or management
Joel: Dream Agritech will conduct trainings and seminar for people who want to learn more about agriculture and an info drive for junior high school and senior high school students.
Chad: The youth have a mindset of trying to save the world coupled with this sense of panic of the uncertainty of the future. Both of which can be addressed by helping out with the country's Agri problems. Save the world by saving its food and you end up securing your future, too.
Lance: The younger generation are not interested in the field of agriculture because they do not have enough information and knowledge about it. Dream Agritech can attract people bymaking them realize that agriculture is not only about farming or laborious work, that Agriculture is a broad scientific field which encompasses different disciplines. There is a need to open up their minds and make them realize that in agriculture, there is a future. Proper information dissemination, in any modern platform, can be of great help in promoting agriculture to the younger generations.
Jim: Dream Agritech’s unique approach to farm consultancy provides a lot of room for youth engagement, either those who are in the university and wishing to look for hands-on experience, or from rural youth themselves who wish to be capacitated in terms for farm management. These are avenues that Dream can provide for the youth in the future, thus sparking interest in not only being employees, but future agripreneurs.
Louise: A significant number of Filipino youth are not interested in agriculture anymore and it is actually threatening because it may cause food insecurity. Dream Agritech plan on linking with the locals, especially the out-of-school youth to intensify their interest and knowledge on agriculture.
Jasper: Doing workshops highlighting the potential careers that can be pursued with going into Agriculture. Start to remove the stigma of going in Agriculture means you’re just a farmer. A farmer should be considered as one of the most respected jobs.
Question 4: What are some of the biggest technological advances in Agriculture that you can share briefly?
Ivana: Rainwater harvesting, water management, and high density planting. Compliance to GAP certification would be enticing for agripreneurship given the ASEAN Economic integration, the Filipino farmers should not be left behind.
Joel : Transgenic crops – Genetically engineered crops with superior characteristics for production, pest and disease resistance, and adaptive capacity to climate change.
Tissue culture technology – Most efficient way to mass propagate plants/crops by means of a somatic plant tissue.
Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) technology –a cost-effective disease diagnosis technique for crops.
Chad: In recent years? Well, you can grow plants in cabinets now. * shrugs * The ones that Dream will bring to the table, well, I can't share that yet.
Lance: Modern day animal production systems:For example, the conventional way of growing broiler chickens before would take up to 45 days to harvest, but now broiler chickens can be harvested as early as 28 days. With the combination of improvements in the fields of genetics, nutrition, and management, modern animal production systems have become very efficient in producing goods for human consumption.
Modern houses: From conventional houses that are solely dependent on outside environmental conditions, to modern climate controlled houses which are fully automated equipped with tunnel ventilated systems that provides more comfort to the birds thus making them grow faster and avoiding mortalities that is caused by severe environmental conditions. These houses also require less labor since feeding and drinking systems are also automated. Climate controlled broiler houses are fully enclosed buildings which utilizes exhaust fans and cooling pads to provide proper ventilation required inside.
Modern feed concepts: Improvements in the field of animal nutrition have become a great contributor in making the animal production systems more efficient. The utilization of feed enzymes, acids, toxin binders, alternative protein sources, are some of the factors that contributes to a more efficient way of growing animals.
Jim: Smart/Precision Agriculture and Vertical Farming. These two are crucial advancements in agricultural development as they fit into the global context of a growing world population with decreasing land size due to increasing sea levels caused by climate change. The first one tackles the wrong practices of conventional agriculture that uses inputs without care or consideration for the environment. With precision agriculture, farms can practice site-specific nutrient or pest management where inputs or interventions are applied only to the areas within the farm where the nutrient deficiency or pest outbreak is seen. As for vertical farming, this is very much in the context of urban and indoor agriculture where food security for urban areas with exponential growth in populations will be the key issue. This then tackles how to utilize small spaces to provide food for the urban households of the future.
Jasper: I am not entirely familiar with these technological advances, but the I believe there are 3 big advances (not in any particular order) in the past 5 years which will get bigger in the next decade:
1. High throughput phenotyping using manned and unmanned drones
2. CRISPR systems for genetic modification (not classified as GMO in the US)
3. Vertical farming for urban farms (biggest ones in California and New York)
Question 5: What role will Dream Agritech play in enhancing food security in the Philippines?
Ivana: Idle land to ideal lands of production and profit
Joel: Dream Agritech will be an advocate of food security who encourages people who owns idle lands to convert them into productive ones.
Chad: Farming for anyone who wants to farm, that's the goal, man. Farming is an instinct, man. That's how modern man was born. It's in our code. We're just unearthing the passion for farming in everyone. It seems buried with all the worry that the modern world has created - chasing money, looking for temporary wealth - we want to give you something that will outlive all of us. Something more sustainable. We want to give you the chance to make your own legacy.
Lance: Dream Agritech is working to uplift the current situation of agriculture in the Philippines. We are trying to change the way of thinking of the people towards agriculture, from the “poor agricultural sector” to a “profitable agricultural sector” type of mindset. With these, we are shaping the minds of investors and making them aware of how great agriculture is as a business. We are offering services that would help them start their own agricultural enterprise. More investors mean more opportunities to grow food for the people. Aside from that, Dream Agritech is also helping the current farmers to adapt to new technologies of farming so that they can produce goods more efficiently. With more agricultural enterprises, and more efficient way of farming, Dream Agritech contributes in enhancing food security in the country.
Louise: Since the Philippines is an agricultural country and land is still available in rural areas, Dream envisions to have these utilized by farmers. Linking farmers with investors, providing technical support and linking them to buyers would not only increase food security but improve the quality of life of farmers.
Jasper: This is a bit difficult question to answer just because of how much there are considerations (i.e. political and policy related questions) about achieving food security. However, DA can start by establishing and showcasing the projects we completed or will be completing focused on small scale farming and idle to ideal land.