A Public Servant by Chance and A Proud Farmer by Choice: Miguelito T. Ocapan Success Story

Being born in a family of farmers, he considered himself as a farmer since birth. Mr. Miguelito T. Ocapan, has been serving the government for 3-terms, holding a position in the provincial government office and still continued to be a farmer with his beloved wife.

Having a total of more than 50 hectares of land, he started with his 5-hectare land and gradually develops his land into an integrated farm.

Mr. Miguelito T. Ocapan, known as ‘Nonoy’ by many, is from Poblacion, San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur. He was born on March 18, 1962 in the municipality of Margosatubig, Zamboanga del Sur. He was married to his ever supportive wife and his partner-in-crime in farming, Mrs. Virginia P. Ocapan. They were blessed with four (4) children.

He is a public servant, a politician and a proud farmer who was awarded as the Gawad Saka Outstanding Corn Farmer – Regional Level in the year 2016.

What make you pursue farming?

Since he fell in love with farming from the very start, he still continued farming even if he’s the only one who wants to continue the legacy of his parents. “Since my siblings are not interested in farming, I really grabbed the opportunity and even borrowed their land, with their consent, to plant different crops.”

“Farming is my passion in life. I really enjoyed working on the farm, I even enjoyed counting the goats that return from wandering around the farm. I enjoyed working while gaining income.”

How did you start everything?

At the start, Mr. and Mrs. Ocapan, utilized the five (5) hectares agricultural land by planting rice, corn, cassava, vegetable, legumes, pineapple and fruit trees. They also ventured into poultry production and livestock production like swine raising production, goat raising, and cattle and water buffalo raising, as their helping animal in tilling the soil.

In every cropping season, he observed crop rotation to conserve soil and maintain the soil fertility. He divided the area into multiple cropping systems.

Even if he was born as a farmer, he admitted that he still lack knowledge in the field of agriculture. But what instills in his mind is “Every seed sown will produce something in the future.”

What are your challenges?

On their first investment, the result was not good because his upland rice crop was attacked by black bug. He was discouraged, that if it will always result to that, he cannot send his sons and daughters to school. Luckily, due to the encouragement of the Agricultural Technologist in their municipality, he continues his desire in farming.

How did you improve yourself in farming?

“I studied on my own. I collected leaflets and brochures and I joined trainings. After that, I will apply it to my farm.” He attended farmer’s classes, School-on-the Air Program and whatever seminar and training conducted regarding agriculture, he is willing to broaden his mind in the field of agriculture especially in augmenting income. According to him it is better late than never and success is not a matter of chance but a matter of choice. He also joined farm visits locally and even internationally.

He applied the integrated farming system and practice organic farming diligently. These are all part of his stepping stone to go upwards.

Farming winning moments…

According to him, planting corn is very important to our health, especially for diabetic patients. “I call to every person to continue our profession in farming like planting corn, rice, legumes, root crops, fruit trees, and managing small livestock for there is wealth out of it. We have to use our areas, our lands that are potential for agricultural crops.”

Through farming the couple has acquired some properties like farm machineries, building, agricultural land, and residential house and at the same time their sons and daughters had finished their studies out of their income through farming.

He continues his aspiration in farming until he was elected as Sanguniang Bayan Member of San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur in the year 1996. He did not stop farming and continue cultivating his five (5) hectares land. He planted yellow corn hybrid and reaped much.

Every year he developed his five hectares, there is an area for his fishpond, for rainfed rice, also he continues to plant yellow corn with a low cost technology and started raising pigs, goat, fowls.

Out of this project the family had gained good health, good shelter, better living and they successfully sent their sons and daughters to school and all of their children became professional.

Luckily, due to his courage and community rapport he was elected as Provincial Board Member of the 2nd Congressional District of Zamboanga del Sur in the year 2006 until 2015.

Worthy for nomination

He has established his agricultural projects by adopting an integrated farming system which helps in augmenting their family income and of his neighbors. He is an active member of the community in Poblacion, San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur, and a member of the Poblacion Farmers Association, and at the same time elected as Provincial Board Member of the second congressional district of Zamboanga del Sur. He is responsive in implementing integrated farming system and very active in attending trainings, seminars and congresses conducted by the Department of Agriculture throughout the Philippines.

Their family is not just an ordinary farmer, but also active leaders of the community and of their church religious activities.

And, as of the present…

He continued planting yellow corn as feed for the swine, chicken, goats and fishpond. At present, he has 10 heads sow, 3 boars and many fattening. Every three months he delivers the swine to Zamboanga City.

He felt the satisfaction of being a farmer and his thriving farm business, that according to him if this will continue it will grow and grow and this will be a stepping stone to become a millionaire someday.