Agri-people have different strategies in order to be competitive and therefore profitable. And one strategy is to specialize in a relatively big way in something unusual.
And that’s perhaps in the mind of Dr. Domingo Angeles, an academician who also loves farming as a source of additional income.
Dr. Angeles, until recently, was the dean of the UP College of Agriculture in Los Baños. All along his academic career, he probably wanted to show that he is not only good in the academe but in hands-on farming as well.
And what did he do? He chose to grow commercially what most people grow in their home garden as a curiosity plant. This is what is most popularly known as Miracle Fruit, botanically called Synsepalum dulcificum. This is considered as a curiosity plant because of its berries. After munching its thin flesh and you eat green mango, that green mango will taste sweet. It’s the same thing if you suck the juice of fresh calamansi and some other sour fruits.
Instead of just planting a few Miracle Fruit trees, Dr. Angeles decided to plant 3.5 hectares in his farm in Calauan, Laguna. They are full grown now and are very prolific. And what does he do with the fruits? He is now commercially making sweet wine with a distinct flavor. He is proving that he does not only know how to grow his crop, he shows that he also knows to process his special fruits.
At the first Urban Agriculture trade show in Makati last May, Dr. Angeles had a video presentation of his farm. The trees that have grown big are not only heavily laden with berries, they looked very robust.
After vacating the deanship of the UP College of Agriculture, Dr. Angeles remains as a professor and chairman of the UPLB Interdisciplinary Studies on Food Security.