Former OFW Finds Bell Pepper Profitable


Wilber Sabatchi showing his harvest of Red Star sweet pepper. He does not wait for the fruits to turn red before harvesting.
Wilber Sabatchi showing his harvest of Red Star sweet pepper. He does not wait for the fruits to turn red before harvesting.

A former Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) has found he can make as much money by growing vegetables in his hometown as when he was working abroad. The fellow is Wilber Sabatchi, 38, of Mankayan, Benguet.

For 7 years he worked as a caregiver in Israel and four years as factory worker in Korea. He did not realize that the P40,000 to P50,000 monthly salary that he was receiving abroad could as well be matched by his income from growing bell pepper.

When he returned from Korea in 2014, he bought a piece of land which he is now using to grow Red Star, hybrid bell pepper from Known-You Philippines. Before growing Red Star, he planted the ordinary variety that yielded low and the fruits were thin-fleshed. He did not make money from that.

Red Star is a high-yielding hybrid that produces fruits with thick flesh. Each fruit usually weighs 200 grams or higher. When he first tried Red Star, he planted just 60 plants. These yielded 300 kilos which he sold for P45,000 (P150 per kilo).

That prompted him to plant 5,000 plants on 1,000 square meters from which he usually makes a profit of P150,000 per growing cycle. Sometimes, he makes more, especially when the price is high.

According to Julius Barcelona of Known-You Philippines, Wilber enjoys farming not only because it gives him good income but also because he is at home in the company of his loved ones.

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