The Business of Agribusiness

The Business of Agribusiness

by UA&P News Desk on October 28, 2011 - 3:50 pm

From The Philippine Star

A new book on agribusiness was launched last Oct. 12 to add to the heretofore scant literature on the subject. Written by a team of experts from the University of Asia and the Pacific, led by Rolando T. Dy, “The Business of Agribusiness: From the Roots to the Fruits,” traces the rise of agribusiness from its beginnings to its current multi-billion-dollar scope of activities today.

The book’s premise is anchored in what the authors call the eight “Ps” of agribusiness: Passages (history); Products, Places and Performance; Power Groups and Players; Pioneers Overseas; Partnerships; Pathways and Pitfalls; Potential and Promise; and Pursuit of the Future.

The book presents how Philippine agribusiness took root and its subsequent history from the Hispanic galleon trade between Manila and Acapulco. The early multinationals are discussed, including a detailed look at the key products involved.

The “power” groups and industry players in agribusiness are given wide treatment in the book, and a fascinating chapter on the Filipino pioneers who dared to get their feet wet in overseas markets makes for interesting reading even by the casual reader, and more so by students and practitioners of agribusiness-related activities.

The reader will find out how wide and all-encompassing are the reach and scope of agribusiness. Familiar brand names like Jollibee, Nestle, KFC, Goldilocks, McDonalds, Century Tuna, Oishi snack foods, and many, many more will greet and inform the reader about how massive is the area covered by agribusiness. But these brands are just among the more known ones.

The book’s subtitle, “From the Roots to the Fruits,” indicates the diverse areas of agribusiness. Various sub-subsectors further comprise agribusiness, ranging from seeds to fertilizers, crops, livestock and poultry, and aquaculture, flour milling, biscuits and canning, to meat processing, beverages, convenience stores, supermarkets, and farm machineries. The fact that agribusiness straddles both agriculture and manufacturing testifies to the wide scope of the sector.

Businessmen, researchers and even just curious laymen will find “The Business of Agribusiness” a mother lode of information about the companies active in the sector – their activities, markets and operations. The book is a must-read for companies already engaged in agribusiness and those that are contemplating to enter the sector.

It has been several decades since any publication on agribusiness in the Philippines has come out. As the foreword says: “This book is a long-awaited contribution to agribusiness literature. Its coverage is second to none.”

“The Business of Agribusiness” comes on the heels of an earlier book by Dy, “Food for Thought: How Agribusiness is Feeding the World.” The earlier book, published in 2009, was meant “for those who want to learn more about the global agribusiness – the key countries, the industries, and the company players,” as well as a look at ASEAN as a food basket to the world.

Dy is the executive director of UA&P’s Center for Food and Agri Business (CFA). His co-authors are Marie Annette S. Galvez-Dacul, Ditas R. Macabasco, Senen U. Reyes and Florence Mojica-Sevilla, all from UA&P-CFA. #

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