Eddie Odsigue owned a tailoring shop in Sta. Ana, Manila. After the declaration of Martial Law in 1972, he started planting fruit trees on public land he occupied in Teresa, Rizal. Farming for a tailor who had no experience in growing crops was a constant struggle because there was no ready source of water. Grass fires were also constant threats. But he persevered and won! In 1978, he finally went into full-time farming and closed his shop.
2,000 FRUITIG JACKFRUIT – What had he got when we visited him in 1993? He already had a 10-hectare farm planted to a wide variety of fruit trees and various short-term crops. He had the biggest jackfruit plantation that we had visited at that time. He had 2,000 fruiting jackfruit!
GOOD INCOME FROM JACKFRUIT – He was making good income from his jackfruit. He related that jackfruit trees don’t bear fruit uniformly. Some may bear just a few fruits but there are others that would bear 20 or more fruits per tree. On the average, each marketable fruit weighed about 10 kilos.
Each tree yielded an average of 8 marketable fruits in one year. At that time, he was selling his fruits at P15 per kilo or 150 pesos per fruit. That was a good price because the peso had not yet depreciated much.
OTHER CROPS – Aside from his jackfruit, Eddie made money from various cash crops that he planted in between the jackfruit and his other trees. These included bananas, gabi, peanut, various vegetables like eggplant, tomato, okra, ampalaya, patani, camote and others. Every day, he would bring to the Antipolo market whatever he harvested from his farm. That could be worth a thousand pesos or more each day.
Eddie was really making good in his farm when we visited him. He had constructed a big house, had sent his children to college, and he had a swimming pool that was supplied with water from a spring about a kilometer away. He bought the place with a spring and piped in the water to his farm not only for the swimming pool but for watering his plants.
LESSON – Perseverance pays!