RiceUp Farmers is an agri-solutions social enterprise that empowers farmers through self-reliance and entrepreneurship education. We are working to innovate agriculture with technology and bring younger people into farming.
The modern farmer faces unique challenges. Some challenges include aging, business illiteracy, capital debt, inability to control pricing, and a lack of market access. RiceUp enables our farmers to solve these problems on their own. Through our farm school system we teach them business and finance skills, then help finance their farms and get greater market access.
RiceUp Farmers represents RiceUp entities around the world. The core programs of RiceUp Philippines, the first RiceUp Farmers entity, are used to create separate RiceUp entities in each country as RiceUp expands. Check out our locations page to learn more!
RiceUp Farmers Inc began in 2017 when Elvin Laceda, a undergrad student at Brigham Young University-Hawaii, pitched his market app for farmers idea at the school's Great Ideas entrepreneurship competition. He and his team won $2,000 for their idea and used it to begin RiceUp in Pampanga, Philippines.
They soon realized that the farmers needed more education. The team decided to switch their business focus from an app to an education program and started what is now the RiceUp farm school program. Farmers could attend the free program to develop a business mindset and entrepreneurship skills. Micro-loans for farm school graduates became available through our partnership with Cropital, and co-ops were later formed for graduates to join.
The first farm school graduation happened on August 27, 2018. The next farm school group began in September, and more groups soon followed through partnerships and expansion to Davao City, Philippines. RiceUp is now preparing to train thousands of people through the farm school system.
The BYU-Hawaii Enactus team presented RiceUp Farmers' progress and won the U.S. Enactus National Exposition in May 2018. This was the first of three wins the team would receive while presenting RiceUp Farmers at Enactus Expositions.
RiceUp Farmers programs have expanded to countries around the world. The farm school program began in Cambodia during the summer of 2019 with three farm school groups, and RiceUp Cambodia was established as a new entity in December 2019. RiceUp Farmers' programs and operations are adapted to better match the location they are used in.
RiceUp Farmers operations have also began in Vietnam, Guatemala, Samoa, and Fiji. Many new RiceUp Farmers expansions begin through student members of RiceUp Farmers at BYU-Hawaii. We are continuing to improve our operations to benefit and reach more people. Join us as we Rice up!