A total of 35 outstanding farmers producing vegetables and other high-value crops are featured in the November 2017 issue of Agriculture Magazine published by the Manila Bulletin and edited by yours truly.
The 35 Farmer Heroes are recipients of special recognition from East-West Seed on its 35th anniversary this month of November. The company which was founded in 1982 by Simon N. Groot of the Netherlands and Benito M. Domingo, a successful agri businessman from Manila who, among other things, is a pioneer in distributing imported seeds of onion and other vegetables.
East-West Seed has gone a long way in developing outstanding varieties of tropical vegetables that include onion, ampalaya, tomato, squash, papaya, sweet corn, sitao, patola, upo, peppers, and others. From its operations in the Philippines, the company has spread its reach to other countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and other Asean member countries, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China, Africa and down to the Latin Americas.
In an earlier post in this blog, we featured a few of the awardees who have had limited formal education – elementary and not beyond high school – but who are nevertheless very successful in their farming. They have become rich because of the high-yielding varieties developed and distributed by East-West worldwide.
Here are some more of the interesting Farmer Heroes of East-West. We are particularly fascinated by the story of Leonila Sugarol, a 52-year-old lady farmer of Tayod, Liloan, Cebu, an elementary school graduate who specializes in planting the Kangkong Tsina distributed by East-West.She grows the crop on just 2,500 square meters. In one year, she can plant 350 kilos of kangkong seeds from which she can harvest year-round P300,000 worth of upland kangkong. It is a mini farming project that gives her good income. Of course, she also makes money from other vegetables like beans, squash, alugbate and Allium (bunching onion).
Monte G. Manalo, 40, of Pinamucan Ibaba, Batangas City, grows eggplant, sitao, okra, ampalaya and sweet corn. A recent crop of Morena and Fortuner eggplant earned him P900,000. His other crops are equally profitable. Planting vegetables, he says, has made life comfortable.
Joel T. Israel, 54, of Poblacion, New Corella, Davao del Norte, grows ampalaya, eggplant, sitao, okra and cucumber. Even a small plot planted to ampalaya can produce a big income. For instance, after two croppings of ampalaya on just 2,000 square meters, he was able toe arn P400,000. The other varieties are also giving him good income.
Johnny S. Tolentino, 46, of Poblacion, T’boli, South Cotabato, grows solanaceious vegetables, cucurbits, and crucifers. After beginning to farm in 2004, he methodically enlarged his operations by buying and leasing farm lands. Today, he grows vegetables on 30 hectares that he either owns or leases. He has mechanized his farming with tractors and various implements. In South Cotabato, Tolentino is the guy who is known to produce vegetables in big volumes.
Aside from the success stories about the East-West Farmer Heroes, there are of course many other interesting articles you can read for useful ideas and strategies in agriculture. Get a copy of the November issue of Agriculture Magazine. It is the most widely distributed magazine of its kind in the Philippines.