WINNING COMBINATION: Guavas And Goats

(THIS is an excerpt from our second agri-book which is already out of print. We are reproducing a part because we believe it could be very useful to agri entrepreneurs. We don’t know where Mr. Cruz is now because we learned several years back that he has migrated to a foreign country.)

Crunchy guavas
Crunchy guavas

ROMULO CRUZ has a farm on a rocky hill in Compostela, Cebu, where he has planted 3,000 guava trees on about three hectares. At the same time, he is raising 50 Anglo Nubian goats that command a premium price because they are sold for breeding.

He makes money by selling the purebred goats but even more important is that they provide all the manure that keeps his guava trees fruitful throughout the year.

Anglo Nubian goat in confinement. Not Romy's, just a representation.
Anglo Nubian goat in confinement. Not Romy’s, just a representation.

He has a unique way of utilizing his goat manure as fertilizer. In the three hectares planted to guavas, he has constructed four concrete reservoirs where he stores the water for the daily watering of his trees.

Each reservoir measures 4 meters long, 3 meters wide and 1 meter high. He fills each tank with water and then submerges four sacks of newly collected manure in each. The goat manure is ideal because it comes in pellet-like form and does not have a bad smell.

The manure transforms the water into a dark tea that is rich in nutrients. This is what he uses to water his trees everyday. It makes them very robust, hardy against diseases, very fruitful and the fruits are sweet, crisp and with shiny skin. And that is the reason why he can sell his guavas at P22 per kilo right in Cebu. That is virtually double the P10 to P12 per kilo that other growers get for their guavas.

Every two to three weeks, he takes out the manure in the tank and spreads it around his guava trees. Then he puts in another four sacks in each tank. Throughout the year, that is his way of fertilizing his trees.

He swears that his goat manure tea really works wonders for his trees. He has a number of neighbors who also planted guavas but many of their trees have already died because they don’t water and fertilize them. His seven-year-old trees are still very robust and he believes they will continue to be productive for another five years or more.

He does not use any chemical fertilizer. He says that chemical fertilizer will not do his plants any good because of the rocky character of the farm. There’s virtually no soil except in the one cubic meter that he dug for planting the trees which he filled up with topsoil and manure before planting the seedlings.

Romy raises his goats in complete confinement. He feeds them with concentrates and grass gathered from the orchard.

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