In the past 10 years, enrolment in degree programs related to agriculture has been declining steadily. There are few students would choose agriculture as a degree to pursue. Most of them would take degree programs that have a high demand for graduates to work abroad or that promise jobs in the city. As a result, very few students from a farming family would even stay in their provinces to continue to manage their family farms or agribusiness.
But in recent years there are renewed industry and government interests in agriculture particularly in the field of agribusiness management and entrepreneurship. Agribusiness management encompasses many aspects of the economy: agricultural producers, businesses that provide supplies and services to the producers, businesses that add value to agricultural products, and those that facilitate the marketing of agricultural products to an ever-growing marketplace.
This sector of the economy went through many changes and will continue to evolve in the future. For this reason, there is a need for prospective managers to be attuned with the developments in the agribusiness sector. Graduates must be able to cope well with the dynamic nature of agribusiness having strong technical and managerial skills that are demanded by farms, agro-industries, and public agencies.
Concurrent with the innovation in agribusiness, entrepreneurship in agribusiness has become an emerging area in agribusiness education. Through agribusiness entrepreneurship, the development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the growth drivers of the Philippines agribusiness sector, can be promoted. It is a changing mindset centered on innovation and inclusive development. Entrepreneurship education can help build an entrepreneurship- driven economy by making individuals acquire entrepreneurial skills, knowledge, and mindsets.
The proposal aims to design and develop a degree program in agriculture that will produce graduates that are socially- and environmentally-responsible professionals, managers, and entrepreneurs. Graduates that are equipped with the competencies and experiences to exploit opportunities and face challenges in the local and global agribusiness industry and in the agriculture sector as a whole.
PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK
FIGURE 1. Program Development Framework