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 Inc began in 2017 when Elvin Laceda, a undergrad student at Brigham Young University-Hawaii, pitched his idea of a market app for farmers 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 however that farmers needed more education. The team decided to switch their business focus of an app to an education program. This 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's operations are expanding toseveral countries. In late 2018, RiceUp began plans to expand to the Kingdom of Cambodia, and in the summer of 2019 three farm school groups began in the Battambang and Siem Reap provinces. Cambodia had many differences from the Philippines, so RiceUp operations adapted to better match the kingdom.
RiceUp developed plans in 2019 to work with farmers in Ninh Thuan province, Vietnam. Operations in Guatemala and Samoa started in late 2019 and early 2020 through connections from our undergrad members at BYU-Hawaii. We are continuing to improve our operations to benefit and reach more farmers. Join us as we Rice up!
"RiceApp" Awarded in University Competition
Elvin Laceda's "RiceApp" idea wins $2,000 at BYU-Hawaii's Great Ideas competition.
Oct 16, 2017
Founding of RiceUp
RiceUp was founded as RiceUp Filipino by Elvin Laceda.
First Farm School Begins
The first RiceUp farm school cycle begins in Lubao and Floridablanca, Pampanga with 50 farmers.
BYU-Hawaii Enactus Team wins U.S. Championship
The BYU-Hawaii Enactus team won 1st place at the Enactus U.S. National Exposition while presenting RiceUp Farmers' progress in the Philippines.
Aug 27, 2018
First Farm School Graduation
RiceUp Farmers has its first farm school graduation in hosted in Lubao, Pampanga.
RiceUp Expands to Davao City
RiceUp Philippines expands to Davao City after meeting with Davao City government officials.
First Farm Schools Begin in Cambodia
The first three farm school groups begin in the Battambang and Siem Reap provinces, Cambodia.
Expansion to Vietnam
Expansion operations to Vietnam begin late 2019.
Late 2019-March 2020
Operations in Guatemala and Samoa
RiceUp operations begin in Guatemala and Samoa.