Business Opportunities in the Philippines: Agriculture
|A popular Filipino goat dish "Kaldereta"|
Picture Credit to DBGG1979
"Magtanim ay di biro, maghapon nakayuko,
di naman makatayo, di naman makaupo"
I will go out on a limb and share some of my well guarded thoughts (secrets if you will) about promising and very unique business ideas here in the Philippines. Some of these, I've long wanted to do, but have not been able to do so because of the lack of funding.
At this stage in my life with five children and one on the way, I can no longer take the financial risk to pursue them. That is why I am sharing these secret ideas.
With my limited resources at hand, it would be best if they are pursued by a bigger entity. These ideas may not be 100% unique, but they are very rare and as far as my monitoring is concerned, very few have undertaken them (some have not).
"When everybody is going into something, it's always a sign that you should try something else."
Most business opportunities in well known local classified ad sites are run of the mill worn out ideas. The business ideas in prominent business oriented magazines are commercially biased in that they are often sponsored articles and placements with no disclaimer. In short, they look like articles but are in fact sponsored advertisements.
Don't get me wrong, some of them may work in certain settings and in certain locations. But if you think about the core of business endeavors, particularly in franchising - there's very few uniqueness in them. Go ahead and buy one such magazine and you'll get a better picture of what I am saying.
Why Agriculture is unique and viable
Disclosure: First of all, let me disclose my personal bias and interest in the matter. We own a farm and we are selling it because my own personal circumstances now point to a different course of action in our lives.
I am a writer and my specialty is in technology related matters. Managing a farm is capital intensive and I have tried it for five years with minimal success due to capital related constraints. It is best undertaken by an individual or entity with sufficient capital and higher tolerance for risk.
Loans are out of the question, as it is our personal and spiritual belief that when you take out a loan to fund a business, you become enslaved to the debtor.
If you happen to read this and would like to know more about our farm, please visit Virginia's Garden farm in the Philippines.
The idea: Think "Healthy Alternative Meat Fastfood Chain"
There is a strong demand not just for Halal meat from our Muslim brothers, but also healthy alternatives to common fast food offerings. Surprisingly, while there is a burgeoning organic and healthy diet movement here in the Philippines, these healthy alternatives and organic meat have not been fully explored in this context.
Think of a franchised fastfood or restaurant chain that serves goat/sheep/rabbit dishes. They are virtually non-existent or at the very least very hard to find, but is a win-win idea for prospective investors.
Here are the most salient points:
- Goat / sheep / rabbit meat - are healthier (and cleaner) alternatives to commercial poultry and swine production. Many may feel squeamish about rabbit meat, because they are cute and generally seen as pets, but I included it nevertheless because of their potential. As a matter of fact there is a farm in Padre Garcia which is a Department of Tourism accredited facility that serves rabbit meat. I leave it up to you to search for them. If you don't think they are viable as food, well, I advise you to research historical accounts of rabbit meat particularly in Western cultures. In popular culture, they have been depicted in a popular novel: The Hunger Games.
- Goat and sheep meat - 100% grass fed animals offer a better alternative to swine which are often raised in less than desirable and sanitary conditions, bar some of the larger facilities. The thought of some piggeries letting their swine sleep on their own dirt can sometimes spur the imagination as to why we are still eating them. Mmm. Porkchop anyone?
- Less calories - Goat meat in particular has less calorie content than beef or chicken. To quote from a Livestrong.com article,
- "A 3-ounces portion of goat meat has 122 calories, which is considerably less than beef's 179 and chicken's 162. In terms of fat, goat is much leaner than other, more readily available meats. Goat meat's 2.6 grams of total fat per 3-ounce serving is about one-third of beef's 7.9 grams and roughly half of chicken's 6.3 grams. A serving of goat meat represents just 4 percent of your daily value of total fat, based on a 2,000-calorie diet." (Source: Livestrong)
- Have you ever asked any famous fastfood chain where it gets its supply of chickens from? I have not even heard of Filipino journalists who have undertaken these inquiries. Fastfood chains with thousands of branches now in the Philippines that serve millions of chickens everyday surely require a constant supply of chicken - where do they source it? What are the living conditions of the chickens?
- First you need a steady supply of goats/sheep/rabbits with a carefully monitored diet of grass and vegetables. If it's possible to feed them with locally sourced leafy greens, that would be better. Acquiring or partnering with a local farm that has easy access to Metro Manila would be optimal.
- Food concepts. There's still a lot of possibilities to explore about what the general public would expect when it comes to these kinds of meats. Culinary professionals would have a better idea about the viability of certain dishes.
- Research about market demand.
- Research about operations - from farm gate to butchers to restaurant.
I would update this as needed.
If you would like to know more, please don't hesitate to contact me at
or through this blog's contact page.