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From the Sunday Panorama
Manila Bulletin
Enrepreneurship in Farming
By Zac Sarian

How do you succeed a farm entrepreneur? One key ingredient is to look for your passion. Look for some-thing you love to do, says Joel F. Magsaysay.

At an entrepre-neurship seminar we attended together, he revealed that even while he was holding an executive job in a multinational company in the city, he had already discovered that beekeeping was his passion. It was his cup of tea.

One indication that you already have found your passion is when you want to know everything about one particular project yet you can't seem to get all the information you want to know about the particular subject. The information is always inadequate and you want to know more.

Once you have discovered your passion, he continued, you will need to focus your activities. You'll have to discard your bad habits so you could reach your goal faster.

In his particular case, he really focused all his efforts at making a go of his bee project. His parents and relatives thought he had lost his head when he gave up his high paying job in favour of farming bees in Silang, Cavite.

He explained that many of his relatives are holders of PhDs so he could not blame them for their reaction when he decided to become a farmer-entrepreneur.

He didn't mind about what they said because he was firmly decided to pursue his passion. And it was this passion that had brought him to where he is in bee culture today.

Magsaysay could be considered as one of the most successful beekeepers in the country. His production of honey (by the tons) is sold out almost immediately because of its quality. Most of his

buyers go to him to pick up their supplies instead of him going out to sell his harvest. An indication that he is really a success.

Aside from honey, he has mastered the production of other bee products that have a ready market in the country. He produces a lot of beeswax which is used in furniture finishing, candles and others. He also produces bee pollen which is considered a health product and which commands a good price in the market. Another non-traditional product he sells is bee propolis which is used for medicinal purposes in place of antibiotics.

His best seller, he says, is considered a natural energizer which can help those sexually inactive to regain their sexual prowess.

He was able to learn to produce all these things because of his passion to know everything he can about bees and bee products.

The most important challenge that he is tackling right now is the extraction of bee venom which sells for a fantastic price because it is used in cancer research as well as in the cure for arthritis and other maladies.

Joel Magsaysay stressed that he could not be as successful as a farm entrepreneur today if he did not have the passion and the focus. He feels very lucky that he was able to marry a lady who had the same passion for taking care of bees and who did not mind living in the farm without the traditional electricity. Up to this time, they only depend on low-voltage current from a solar powered source. But he is not complaining. Part of being successful is not complaining about a little inconveniences.

So what is your passion in agriculture? Better look for it , and when you have spotted it focus to it all your attention, efforts, time, and above all your financial resources.