Farmers here have attested that patience and perseverance do help them increase their income.
This they said after a bountiful harvest of assorted vegetables at a farmers’ field school where they were taught high-value crops production under the Department of Agrarian Reform’s (DAR) Agrarian Reform Communities Development Project. (ARCDP).
The farmers attended a six-month intensive training on year-round vegetable production, courtesy of the East-West Seed Philippines.
Twenty-one farmers from five barangays within the Capoocan agrarian reform community (ARC), 14 of them are agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs), shared inspiring stories shortly after their graduation from the said field school.
Nelly Macolor, 57, an ARB from Barangay Sto. Niño, said that the new farming method enabled her to harvest from her 500 sq. m. demo farm 194 kilos of ampalaya (bitter gourd); 98 kilos of pipino (cucumbers); and 16 kilos of sweet pepper, all produced organically and earned a total of P10,850 at farm gate price just on her initial harvest, nearly enough to offset the P12,087 she spent for the seeds, land preparation and other miscellaneous expenses.
Bacolor added that her net income ballooned to some P30,000, more than seven folds from her previous income of P440 before she enrolled in the school.
Before, she said, she used to plant only corn and kamote (sweet potatoes) in the same area.
Besides teaching the new farming technique, the East-West Seed Philippines together with the local government unit also offers credit for farmers’ start-up capital.
DAR Regional Director Eliasem Castillo said the good gesture of East-West Seed Phils. Enabled the government to save funds for skills training and development of farmer-beneficiaries. The DAR tied-up with the East-West Seed Philippines thru public-private partnership (PPP) in establishing the farmers’ field school.
“The farmers’ field school also trains farmers in developing, producing and marketing of vegetables,” added Castillo.
Castillo said this high-value vegetable production project was pilot-tested in Calbiga ARC in Samar; Balangiga ARC in Eastern Samar, San Isidro and Capoocan ARCs in Leyte.
Marilyn Dacara, Technology Specialist of East-West Seed Philippines, said that farmers were also taught on seed and seedling management, insect and diseases identification and management, post harvest handling techniques, and basic record keeping.
“We also teach them which crop is appropriate to a particular area as well as market preferences making sure that all products will be sold,” said Dacara. Pinky, DAR-PAS