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How Rice Farmers Now Make More Money

How Rice Farmers Now Make More Money

Celeste Samasei'a

“I started without much money, only people and passion. You only need these two at least to start changing your world to become a better place.”

-Elvin Laceda

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One Student Changing Agriculture

Elvin Laceda, a BYU-Hawaii Entrepreneur student,  comes from a family of Filipino farmers.

Growing up in Pampanga–a province in the Philippines–he watched his grandfather, Arturo, work countless hours to provide for their big family. Since the Philippines is the 8th leading producer of rice worldwide, the providing farmers should be financially set. 

The Real Struggle of Farming

But, they’re not.

Elvin shared that farmers in Pampanga only receive $14 a week.

$14 a week.

That money quickly goes to “loan sharks,” as Elvin says. This cycle of debt is detrimental to these families and leaves them with minimal money and even minimal food.

That’s where Elvin became inspired. He wanted to end the cycle and empower the rice farmers to better their circumstances and truly provide for their families.

The Magic that Empowers Farmers


Through RiceUp.

RiceUp is a social enterprise which promotes equitable use of food resources.” This is done in three distinct ways.

  1. Empowering farmers through trainings
  2. Helping them embrace innovative technology
  3. Enriching their livings through integrated family farm

This program has helped farmers become directly connected with the consumer while avoiding the risk of losing all of their money by selling their product through the “middle man.” This allows the farmers to gain control of their business and become farmpreneur as Elvin likes to declare.

The Proof is in the Statistics

Through RiceUp, farmers are able to change their lives. Here’s a brief list of what RiceUp has done for farmers.

  • RiceUp has helped a total of 450 farmers.
  • RiceUp has helped 10 provinces in the Philippines and 2 in Cambodia
  • RiceUp–in 2018– has helped 65 farmers in Pampanga increase their monthly income by 250%.
  • RiceUp is projected to help 2,500 farmers in 2019.

The Idea that Transformed Thousands of People

Thousands of farmers have been helped through Elvin’s vision. This social enterprise that now reaches Asian countries all started from an idea that he acted upon.

Then that idea took form in the Willes Center competition, Empower Your Dreams. This opportunity literally turned his  dream into reality. Winning the thousands of dollars in first place, he was able to use those funds to build RiceUp. 

Since, then Elvin has traveled around the globe sharing the purpose behind RiceUp. People are joining his team to build a better place for farmers not only in his home country, but around the world.

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