The Agri-bazaar cum Agri-Kapihan at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City is becoming a favorite venue for young, budding entrepreneurs in launching their products.
Just like members of Samahan ng mga Rizaleño sa Sektor ng Agrikultura at Pagkain (SARAP) that include young professionals. Last August 18-20, they got a big space for the members to showcase their products at the Agri-Bazaar.
Mona Borromeo who took up business management in college is a young mother who put up Hot Mama with literally hot products. She specializes in hot chili sauce, chili powder and chili vinegar. She takes pride in the fact that her sauce was a prize winner in a previous competition in a chili festival organized by ChilliHeads Philippines.
Her business is only three years old but she says she is doing well. Her 250 ml chili sauce in olive oil is selling well at P200. Her chili powder is used in barbecues, marinades, pasta, various dishes and even in cookies. Her chili vinegar is made of tuba from coconut and, of course, hot chili.
Divina Gracia Mallanao is another young mother who just started making her Spanish style bangus sardines in bottle. She is also a business management graduate who wanted a business of her own. Her husband is doing well in the cashew nut business.
To maintain the quality of her product, she sees to it that she only uses 1.5-kilo bangus that is very fresh. Each one is cut into seven slices and four slices are packed in one glass jar. The other ingredients include fresh carrots, garlic, black pepper, bell pepper, cucumber pickle, laurel leaves and salt.
Being a graduate in business, she knows whether her business is profitable or not. In fact, she says, that the profit margin could be as much as fifty percent.
Marlyn Paclibar Estenzo, another young professional-member of SARAP, is into baked products. Her specialty is banana cake, banana muffin, cupcake and cookies. She also makes different flavors of puto. She is an innovative baker. In fact her latest innovation is to fortify her baked products with spirulina flakes from Aztec Spirulina company of Pol Puente.
She uses Cavendish banana in making her cakes. She does not throw away the banana peelings because she makes them into vinegar. She adds her vinegar to the milk used in making banana cake. She says that this makes the cake more creamy and with a longer shelf life.
Marlyn is an HRM graduate from Agusan. She is married to a seaman who is in active service. Her business keeps her busy while taking care of their children.
Melinda R. Ponce is another mom who went into processing of salted eggs and balut. Her salted eggs are not colored and are claimed to be organically produced. Her company is MDG Farm based in Jala-jala, Rizal.
Other products showcased by the SARAP members included cashew nuts, atchara, rellenong bangus, various sweets and native delicacies.
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS – Lectures on animal raising were the other highlights of the most recent Agri-Bazaar cum Agri-Kapihan which is held once a month. One of the speakers was Ferds Medina of Ecopig based in Pampanga.
Ecopig is espousing the production of native pigs for lechon. He said they are now producing 500 pigs for lechon a month but that is very short of the demand. They need ten times that number to meet the demand.
To increase their production, they are collaborating with contract breeding partners who are provided with breeder pigs at a cost of P5,000 each and the technology in raising them. Then Ecopig buys the piglets for growing into lechon-size pigs.