Former broadcast network video editor finds success as an agri-influencer – Manila Bulletin
If you had told Buddy Gancenia 10 years ago that he would host his own farming vlog, the man now known as “Mr. Agribusiness” would have thought it was impossible. Today , his YouTube channel, “Agribusiness How It Works”, has nearly 800,000 subscribers, with some videos reaching almost two million views.
“We want [viewers] be inspired. This is why we [feature] lots of success stories in agriculture and agribusiness,” says Gancencia in Tagalog. “We have a lot of instructional videos for [the audience] to try farming and our slogan is “educate, inspire and succeed”.
It particularly focuses on “getting it right”, which emphasizes the entrepreneurial spirit when running a farm. “It would be a waste if you inspired people and instructed them on [how to farm] but at the end of the day, they don’t have a market,” he says. “That’s why we also discuss many marketing aspects.”
A career in television and video
You could say that Gancenia’s past career was a preparation for her current profession. His first job was as executive producer for “Agri Siete”, a farming program hosted by Bert Marcelo and broadcast on GMA 7 in 1991. “The reason I understand how agriculture works is because of this show. “
When the show ended, Gancenia transferred to ABS CBN, where he worked as a video editor for over a decade. He has worked on various genres, including talk show “Sharon”, variety show “ASAP”, game show “Game Ka Na Ba”, reality show “Pinoy Big Brother”, and current affairs show ” Kumikitang Kabuhayan”. “I was typecast to do talk shows and reality shows,” he says. “I apply the same principles to my vlog posts, which is why they are unique.”
He quit his job as a video editor to try his luck as an entrepreneur. He worked on wedding videos and corporate videos, until he found himself working again on “Agribusiness”, a farming program that aired for three seasons on ABS-CBN Sports and Action, this time as a producer. That’s when he also started posting videos on YouTube, which back then didn’t have a monetization model like it does now. “I posted videos hoping to find a business model sooner or later, but I didn’t know how it was going to turn out,” admits Gancenia. “After the show ended, I decided to focus on YouTube. YouTube had just started giving [monetary] sharing with creators.
His instinct paid off and he has since made a decent living as a YouTube creator. “I’m encouraged to continue because I’m getting passive income.”
From producer to talent
Gancenia is a one man team. His background in both production and post-production means he applies broadcast-level discipline and execution to every video he posts on his channel. “It’s a one-man team. It’s funny because I became a host,” he says.
Gancenia, shy and soft-spoken, made the decision to switch to the camera because he wanted to be able to produce videos quickly and within a given budget. He started hosting his own YouTube videos in November 2020, a move that saw his subscribers jump from 200,000 to 772,000 currently. One secret, broadcast-quality production aside, is “Because I post every day.”
Or at least he tries to, given the internet situation in the country, especially when he has to download from what is sometimes a literal field.
To say that Gancenia loves her job is an understatement. “It’s great because you meet a lot of people. Every story means meeting someone new and sometimes becoming friends,” he says, adding that a community has grown up around the channel, where everyone shares their knowledge and experiences. “I share information, but I also learn, and my business skills are refreshed. »
Like other influencers, Gancenia has been recognized by viewers in public. “I didn’t expect that,” he says, adding that he just wanted to be able to produce video at the speed he was used to when he was still in broadcasting.
His various roles in broadcast media have served him very well in his current endeavor. “It’s a benefit because journaling is the most basic form of video production,” he says. “And broadcast media has a lot of rules, but in vlogging you can break those rules. Anything goes.”
Gancenia’s channel follows the format of the magazine show, with each episode lasting over an hour. “It’s storytelling,” he says. “I adopted the principle of Pinoy Big Brother, where the camera rolls for 24 hours to produce an episode of one hour. It is a process of eliminating unnecessary scenes so that an episode is filled with excitement.
A growing following also meant that he now received suggestions on who to feature from his audience. He has also gotten to the point where some of the people he features have found inspiration to cultivate by watching his channel. “I don’t choose. Whether big business or start-up, rich or poor, newbie or long-time farmer, every farmer has a story that audiences can relate to.
A focus on agricultural activity
Along with showcasing the farm and the story behind its growth, Gancnia relies on the “agribusiness” part of its channel name and focuses on the business side of running a successful farm. Indeed, early in his career, he met many farmers who worried about where and how they could sell their produce. That’s why he makes sure to ask his interviewers how they overcame their sales and marketing challenges.
“I always say that farming is not just farming; it’s really a business, so you have to learn [the ropes],” he says. Discussions can be as technical as whether to sell to consumers, distributors or a trading post.
He points out that the common refrain of “we don’t have anyone to sell to” or “we’re losing money because of low prices” usually doesn’t have to be the case. ” It is necessary to make efforts. Add some work on your side so you can earn more.
Gancenia is more than just a YouTuber. He also owns several agricultural businesses as well as a small farm. There is Online Palengke which, as its name suggests, is an online marketplace that offers fresh produce, usually directly from partner farmers. “[Customers] order and we deliver the next day,” says Gancania. “Why the next day? Because they are freshly harvested vegetables. They also have a meal kit business in the marketplace section of a popular ridesharing app. “[For when] you want to cook, but you don’t want to prepare,” says Gancenia, adding that while they currently supply Makati and Quezon City, “if the turnout is good, we plan to establish more branches in the metro .
The Gancenias are also developing an integrated farm of 3.5 hectares in Tanay, Rizal. Its main objective is to be a model farm that Gancenia can present on its channel. “I am positive because no matter what happens, whether it flies or fails, I can share everything and [my viewers] can learn from it. »
Although not a ‘hard-core’ natural farm, Gancenia will grow crops that don’t require a lot of inputs, such as malunggay, gabi and kamote, both of which can be planted once but will continue to bear leaves, fruits and tubers. respectively. He also plans to grow vegetables that sell well on Online Palengke. “It’s linked to what I tell people that before cultivating, you have to have a market. You need to know where to bring your products so you don’t lose money,” he says.
All in the family
The various businesses have become a family business, with Gancenia’s wife and two eldest daughters helping with the business side of things. Her youngest daughter is still studying, but “she has to watch the store when she has no class”. “We are literally together 24/7,” says Gancenia.
The fact that he involves his children in agribusiness is the opposite of what many farmers do, which is to make sure their children get jobs in town so they don’t have to live the agricultural difficulties. “Why the difficulties? Because they don’t make any money. Why don’t they make money? Because they have a marketing problem,” says Gancenia. “They have skills. They know how to cultivate. But they got a problem with marketing and sales [their goods].”
It’s no secret that there are fewer and fewer people willing to plow the fields. It is a concern that worries many people for many reasons, including economic and food insecurity. Gancenia thinks this can be reversed if people see that farming can be lucrative when done right. “If we educate [the public about how] farmers can get rich, they can make millions, many will see the potential and it’s not all hardship,” he says. “If everyone realized how much you can earn as a farmer if you [cultivate] and market your produce properly, I’m sure we wouldn’t have a problem with the next generation of farmers.
Getting paid to do what he loves
Gancenia is one of a growing number of people who have found a way to get paid well for doing what he loves. “The good thing is that I can do what I love, which is video production,” he says. “I’ve been through many businesses but in the end the one that makes the most money is the one based on my skills [as a video editor]I happened to focus on agriculture.
Little did he know it, but it was his very first job that would plant the seeds for what would become his most successful business, one that continues to grow. Gancenia hopes to produce content for more YouTube channels that will also cater to Filipino knowledge and learning. He acknowledges that he has been very blessed and wants to share what he has learned with as many people as possible.
“Do you know the feeling of being able to share information and help people and what’s great is that it pays off too? Where can you find this kind of business? »
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