+632.636.6387 / +632.638.2851

What We Do

PinoyME is committed to serving and serving along. We were created to empower our countrymen who we think deserves to have a better life.

With the help of our trustees who are business leaders and finance experts, we use traditional business and finance practices and employ them towards small producers to help them become commercially viable institutions.

We employ a combination of enterprise development services, financial services and advocacy in achieving our goal.

How We Implement Our Plans

CAPACITATING — PinoyME provides extensive non-financial support services to budding rural enterprises. It is our belief that business development services are as important as providing access to capital in order for enterprises of the poor to grow. (Click for more)

CAPITALIZING ON THE POOR — In 2009, PinoyME created the Social Investment Fund (SIF) to enable it to lend capital to risky but viable rural enterprises. We wanted the SIF to be a lender of last resort that would provide much needed capital to viable rural enterprises… (Click for more)

CALLING OUT FOR CHANGE — PinoyME Foundation synthesizes the knowledge and resources of its framework in order to draft white papers the national government can use in order to influence its policy direction to favor the progress of microenterprises. (Click for more)

We tap the network of non-government institutions, government agencies, international development institutions, business establishments, donor agencies and private individuals that we have developed in our past 10 years of experience to create a dynamic workplace in empowering small holder farmers and the rural poor. We share our experience to the broader development community that is involved in microfinance, micro enterprise development and rural development. By sharing this experience, we will be able to contribute to the continuing search for effective models of rural development and poverty reduction with the insights and experience of others in this field. Inspired by our founder, we continue to tap people power to improve the lives of the poor and marginalized in the rural areas and contribute to making the countryside a dynamic economy that thrives from the contribution of the people who produce the most basic requirements of our lives.

The PinoyME Network: empowering small holder farmers and the rural poor. Making people power work for the small farmers.

Enterprise Development Services
Enterprise Development Services

PinoyME provides extensive non-financial support services to budding rural enterprises. It is our belief that business development services are as important as providing access to capital in order for enterprises of the poor to grow. For this reason, enterprises are viewed from the dimensions of business management, institutional development, technology application, leadership development, and networking or partnership building. Clients are assisted in addressing the challenges that PinoyME has seen small producers encounter in its many years of studying and dealing with micro and small enterprises. PinoyME’s objective is to help them establish a stable organization that will usher in the sustainability of a profitable business.

Apart from conducting trainings, PinoyME staff take time to mentor clients, go deep into their organizations so that they can address the roots of their organization’s problems, and help them establish good governance practices. The services of experts are tapped to provide POs with the technical assistance that they need. A manual of these services is constantly being updated. It is from this resource that PinoyME staff draw from and customize tools and materials to the needs of clients. It is a living tool kit that evolves as PinoyME’s experience grows.

In the past, PinoyME convened dialogues and conferences to understand the nature and challenges of microenterprises. To name a few: “Mainstreaming Micro”, “Adding Value through Value Chains”, “ME Naman: The Microentrepreneurs’ Convention”, and “ME Naman na Naman”  all featured topics and stories that will inspire MEs and enthusiasts alike. These conversations brought together BDS experts and practitioners, as well as government and commercial industry players to share their expertise and interact with MFIs and microentrepreneurs.

Add link to resource materials on these conferences

Social Investment Funs (SIF)

In 2009, PinoyME created the Social Investment Fund (SIF) to enable it to lend capital to risky but viable rural enterprises. We wanted the SIF to be a lender of last resort that would provide much needed capital to viable rural enterprises that have no credit history but have a clear market for their product. The fund is sourced from donations from individuals and institutions who are willing to invest their money on ventures that have a social rather than a financial return.

The fund started at Php 3 million and eventually reached Php 11 million from donations from donors such as Sen. Francis Pangilinan, Accenture Philippines, Rotary Club of Makati San Lorenzo, and other private individuals.

Although we have no financial obligation to pay back the funds, PinoyME applies prudent due diligence on the beneficiaries of the SIF. As a result, the percentage of past due amortizations under the portfolio has been in the low single digit. The SIF has disbursed a total of Php 31.5 million reaching 4,700 farmer beneficiaries since it was created.

Social Investment Funs (SIF)

In 2009, PinoyME created the Social Investment Fund (SIF) to enable it to lend capital to risky but viable rural enterprises. We wanted the SIF to be a lender of last resort that would provide much needed capital to viable rural enterprises that have no credit history but have a clear market for their product. The fund is sourced from donations from individuals and institutions who are willing to invest their money on ventures that have a social rather than a financial return.

The fund started at Php 3 million and eventually reached Php 11 million from donations from donors such as Sen. Francis Pangilinan, Accenture Philippines, Rotary Club of Makati San Lorenzo, and other private individuals.

Although we have no financial obligation to pay back the funds, PinoyME applies prudent due diligence on the beneficiaries of the SIF. As a result, the percentage of past due amortizations under the portfolio has been in the low single digit. The SIF has disbursed a total of Php 31.5 million reaching 4,700 farmer beneficiaries since it was created.

Our Work

The map inthis page shows the reach of PinoyME’s efforts in the country. Each project matched by their respective partner agencies as shown below.

REAPing THE INTRINSIC VALUE OF SMALL FARMS

On their own, small farmers have a ghost of a chance to becoming prosperous. The small size of their farms prevents them from harvesting the sufficient amount of products to transact with bigger establishments. The average size of farmlands in the Philippines is only 1.3 hectares (Philippine Statistics Agency, 2016).

For this reason, farmers have long been vulnerable to profiteering and exploitation because they lack scale, information, capital, and post-harvest facilities to access bigger markets. They produce the food that we eat and the raw materials that are used to manufacture different products and yet they are among the poorest in our country. Without capital for their farms, they are forced to borrow from unscrupulous middlemen and sell to them at low prices. Without post-harvest facilities, which provide storage and processing of their products, they are forced to sell at unreasonable prices before their products begin to spoil.

The PinoyME AED approach is hence built on a strategy that allows farmers to optimize the value of small farms and make them commercially viable. We call our brand of AED Rural Enterprise Acceleration Program (REAP). In REAP, we capacitate farmers with skills and information, organize them to achieve scale, invest capital, help provide them with post-harvest facilities, and finally build inclusive value chains that will allow them to earn more and flourish with their own agroenterprises.

Our aim is to establish a commercially viable enterprise that can be financed by mainstream financial institution before we leave the community.

The farmer’s life was so much simpler before we introduced REAP to them. But the simplicity of his/her enterprise is what puts him/her in a bind. Someone else takes advantage of the value of his/her product because the small farmer does not care to mind these complex issues and take the risks associated with them. Through REAP, we capacitate them in employing traditional business practices. Since these are practices that they are not used to, we explain to them the consequences of their decision and guide them to make the final decision at every step. We document the process with them so that they can repeat them with minimal guidance in the future.

This approach dispels the notion that farmers cannot be taught to become entrepreneurs. The reality is we only need a few leaders who have the natural business acumen and competency to lead the community in creating a profitable enterprise. All the other members become suppliers to the community enterprise. Along the way they learn the discipline of performing their responsibilities of becoming shareholders of their own business enterprise.

A Map of Inclusive Value Chains

Across the archipelago, PinoyME brought REAP to 11 provinces to bring about value chains where small farmers are on the way to becoming major players. These value chains include:

Calawis, Antipolo: Where Bananas and Farmers’ Dreams Blossom

PinoyME partnered with the Rotary Club of Makati San Lorenzo (RCMSL) to bring this project to the barangay.

Before the project, the residents of Calawis were starting to be disheartened with agriculture. They were only able to sell saba and other products at low prices. Mang Leo Tisorero remembers that they could barely afford food and medicine for their families let alone provide for the education of their children. RCMSL provided a grant to PinoyME to develop a livelihood project for their beneficiaries in Calawis.

Our project started by organizing 35 banana farmers to learn the technology of AED and sell their saba banana to banana chips manufacturers. With REAP, they were able to triple the selling price of bananas from P0.40 to P1.20 by selling. They now have doubled their earnings for their families.

After a year, the Rotary Club of Calawis Antipolo Farmers Agroenterprise Project (RCC AFAA) was registered with the Department of Labor as a rural workers association with 70 members. RCC AFAA earned a net profit of Php 96,000.00 from their saba marketing operations and started venturing into banana chips production.

With additional support from RCMSL and Rotary International, a banana chips processing center is being established in the barangay to scale up the production of banana chips to commercial level. A demo farm was established to propagate the planting of banana trees in the barangay, and banana seedlings will be distributed to other households to increase the supply of raw saba while also increasing the beneficiaries of the project.

 

Named after the bird “Calaw” and “Barawis,” a tree that commonly grows in the area, Calawis is home to a farmers community that has begun to flourish with REAP.

“For most of the 350 saba farmers in Calawis, the agroenteprise at last provides them with the hope of a better life. For the first time in their lives, they have risen above worrying about what to feed their children tomorrow. The AED program has not only doubled their incomes, it has gifted them the opportunity to dream and strive towards a prosperous future for their families.”

LibmananCamarines Sur: Reshaping Bicol’s Rice Basket

In the rice plains of Libmanan, Camarines Sur PinoyME is working with farmers who embody the Bicolano spirit of resilience. Libmanan used to be the rice granary of the Bicol region.

Before our project, Libmanan farmers were not earning the worth of their hard work. Traders would advance money to them during planting season to tide them over while waiting for their palay to grow. Come harvest season, traders would set out buy their palay at lower than the buying price of the big rice mills in Partido. The middlemen pocket most of the profit while those who planted the product are left with a measly average income of only P23,000 for an entire year.

The AED strategy provided us the means to change the rules for rice farmers in Libmanan. PinoyME assisted the Caritas Diocese of Libmanan in financing and operating a Php 16 million rice processing center (RPC) that was donated by the Department of Agriculture to SKK-Organic Farmers Association (SKK-OFA).

PinoyME trained the 113 members of SKK-OFA to plan their production and deliver their palay to their RPC. PinoyME also assisted the management of the RPC in effectively managing the facility and turn it into a profitable business with the farmer members. By the end of 2015, SKK-OFA has expanded its membership to 650 farmers and the RPC turned a profit of xxx in its first year of operation. The subsequent years were more challenging as they had to grapple with increasing need for working capital, encouraging more farmers to sell their palay to the RPC instead of the traders to meet overhead cost, making the rice mill operations more efficient, and finding more and more buyers for their milled rice.

RPC is now selling rice not only to clients in Libmanan but also to those in nearby towns and to big rice traders in Metro Manila. For the rice farmers of Libmanan, the rules of the industry are slowly being reshaped. The change that we achieved has allowed them to dream not only for their selves, but also for their fellow rice farmers. They now have a goal of reaching 1,200 farmers (or 20% of the rice farmers in the municipality), and inviting them to become “member-shareholders” of their own agroenterprise. “This is what the farmers were asking for,” said Tatay Jim Salazar. “An arrangement that would address the farmers’ needs.”

 

“Today, 113 rice farmers are earning more due to the higher price that the RPC pays for their palay. The SKK Farmers Corporation was registered as a for-profit corporation with the Securities and Exchange Commission in September 2016. The company is majority owned by the Libmanan farmers with CDL and local entrepreneurs as co-investors. It has since tripled its working capital.”

Bukidnon, Sultan Kudarat, and Saranggani: REAP in Mindanao

With the support of the PhilAm Fund of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), PinoyME is assisting 3,000 farmers build flourishing agroenterprises in Mindanao in partnership with Kaanib Foundation, Social Action Center of the Diocese of Malaybalay, and PASALI Philippines.

In Sultan Kudarat and Saranggani, we are strengthening the organization of coffee farmers that are already delivering to Nestle Philippines. The farmers have hence increased their income by more than 10% by transacting directly with the global food and manufacturing corporation. As they begin to participate in their own association, they wean themselves from the clutches of unscrupulous traders. In addition, they also get a share from the trading profits of their association.

The coffee farmers in Lebak and Kalamansig are located in the most remote and hard-to-reach areas of Sultan Kudarat, which are hotbeds of an insurgency incited by rural poverty and social injustice. PinoyME provided a loan to PASALI so that it can help coffee farmers in these two depressed towns to aggregate more products from their members.

In Bukidnon, vegetable farmers have been connected with supermarkets and wholesale vegetable markets. In partnership with the Social Action Center, they are organizing Sunday markets in parish churches which sells directly to consumers as well as local business establishments. We are likewise assisting a large cooperative to consolidate a larger volume of their Arabica coffee and process them into a premium variety that can be sold to exporters.

 

“By the end of the project in 2018, PinoyME and its three partner NGOs aim to have established 12 farmer groups that will be on their way to becoming commercially viable rural enterprises through this project.”

PinoyME Current and Past Projects

Saba

In its direct implementation projects such as the AED Project for Saba Farmers, PinoyME was responsible for accomplishing all the stages in developing AEDs starting from organizing the farmers to facilitating partnerships with other stakeholders. Similarly, CRS advocates the clustering approach, particularly of farmer communities, as an enabling tool for AED. On the other hand, the Rotary Club of Makati San Lorenzo (RCMSL) works with communities in partnership with other groups such as PinoyME, in accordance to the needs of the Rotary Community Corps (RCC) it caters to. The role of community organizing is important in the introduction of AED initiatives. Once the farmers become organized, they realize the power of collectivism and cooperation in achieving higher productivity and improving their livelihood.

Different groups help develop the capacities of farmers with regard to production, marketing, processing, and other areas important to manage and sustain agroenterprises.

PinoyME, CRS, NSSC, Alalay sa Kaunlaran, Inc. (ASKI), and government agencies such as DA and DAR all take part in capacity building activities, either by directly sending their staff and/or tapping external experts, or by organizing activities

to provide trainings and technical assistance to the beneficiaries. As mentioned earlier, KFI and Nestle Philippines, which directly implement AED projects, also

engage in capacity building of farmers.

Play

Another example is that of the Libmanan Rice Processing Center in Libmanan, Camarines Sur. The provision of the rice processing

center in the community empowers the rice farmers through their access to processing and storage facilities. This allows farmers to gain more from their produce and also gives them a sense of ownership of the project itself.

 

Background

On average, there are more rice farmers in the Philippines who have limited skills in making rice farming an agribusiness venture. Because of limited access to credit for processing and storage facilities, farmers are forced to sell their marketable surplus during harvest months when prices are low.

The Caritas Diocese of Libmanan (CDL) as a social acting center and in partnership with the Department of Agriculture- Regional Field Unit No. 5 (DA-RFU 5) and National Agri-Business Corporation (NabCor) helps in developing marginalized farmers by establishing the Rice Processing Center to empower small farmers and local stakeholders in pursuit of poverty alleviation especially in the agricultural sector mostly located in the rural areas. The SKK Organic Farmers’ Association (SKK-OFA) acts as the major beneficiaries of the project.

Coffee

In 2012, the Catholic Relief Services partnered with PinoyME Foundation to help implement the CRS Farmer Alliances for Resource-Strengthening and Marketing (FARM) Project in selected provinces of Mindanao. The project was implemented to continue and scale up CRS/Philippines’ Small Farms Marketing Project (SFMP – 2004) and the Expanded Small Farms Marketing Project (ESFMP – 2010). Covering seven Mindanao provinces namely, Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Davao del Sur, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindano, and North Cotabato, the project targeted to assist 32,000 smallholder and landless farmers. Via the 8-step agroenterprise clustering approach, the project organized farmers to collectively share production information, negotiate, and market farm crops to corporate buyers and regional consolidators. The project also provided trainings on production technologies, integrated farming systems, techniques for natural resource management (NRM) as well as pre and post-harvest infrastructure for irrigation, crop protection, and drying preservation to the farmers clusters established.

 

FARM generally aimed to increase farmer yields with focus on rice as a farm staple and high value crops such as coffee, cacao, vegetable and poultry production where there is high domestic demand. The increase in harvest coupled with the 8-step clustering approach is expected to translate into 50% increase in the farmers’ income by project end.

 

CRS Farm
DSWD CDED Project
RARE Project

3 + 14 =

PinoyME Foundation

Unit 202 MAnila Luxury Condominium

12 Pearl Drive corner Gold Loop, Ortigas Center

Pasig City, Philippines

Tel.: +632.635.6387 / 638.2851 / 470.3193