Turning 67 years old, Anita Jover Mandalupe was born and raised to a couple who depended on agriculture for a livelihood. She is a native of a rice farming area in Cansa-naan, Mabinay, Negros Oriental. Fueled with determination in uplifting her family’s quality of life, she mastered the technique in rice production. She participated actively in various non-government and government agricultural activities. She’s the few females who became certified seed growers in the province. Envisioned rice sufficiency by producing more good quality and high yielding rice seed varieties. Her noble contribution to the community made her an Outstanding Farmer from 1998 to 1999 during the Search for Regional Gawad Saka in Region VII. Until then, she never stopped learning.
Coping up with challenges in life
When her husband had a mild stroke in 2006, Anita Mandalupe took over all the responsibilities at home including earning a living to raise her seven children and send them to college.
She noticed then if rice production alone, it definitely cannot cover all the household expenses and her husband’s medicine maintenance.
Responsive to technological change, she ventured in diversified farming with rice as the main crop. Other crops grown are mango, banana, coconut, fruit trees and assorted vegetables.
Aside from growing crops, Anita also raised livestock including swine and cattle. The sale from the fattened swine and cattle was used to purchase one unit of thresher, which she rents to the neighbouring farmers.
Another project she managed to put up is duck raising. With 80 duck heads, she harvested an average of 64 eggs daily which she sells at P4.00 per piece. Sales from eggs enabled her to improve her house. Likewise she purchased head of cattle and paid her daughter’s one semester tuition fee in Nursing.
Finding out her purpose
Though focused in maintaining to improve the family’s quality of life, she was able to extend her services to fellow farmers.
One of her noble contributions to the development of the community was the donation of a piece of land for the construction of a multi-purpose drying pavement. The pavement serves the farmer-members of the Cansana-an Farmers Association, group of rice farmers she organized and influenced her good practices in diversified farming.
Nita also loaned 30 sacks of seeds to her fellow farmers without interest during the El Nino phenomenon. It really helped them to recover their loss during the calamity.
Reaping the seeds she sown
For more than 20 years in farming, Anita fought against all odds to improve productivity not only for her own family but for the other farmers in the community.
Her seven children went all to college. Six of them became professionals in the field of Nursing, Education and Marine Engineering.
She has established an integrity of a trusted rice seed grower in the province. In fact many buyers from the neighbouring towns would prefer to buy rice from her farm, because they knew that it is certainly certified good variety of rice seeds.
Anita now is happily living with her growing family and enjoying life at its best. While, she remains a living testimony that indeed hardwork without love and passion is nothing.