Age Doesn’t Matter To Excel

At the age of 18, Christian B. Naman is earning an average of 200 thousand pesos net income per year from his tilapia and hito production and breeding.
Christian started working on hito production and breeding all on his own at the age of fourteen. The intricacies of the process of hito spawn induction of egg hatching for fries using its pituitary gland need delicate handling and enough patience.
As a young boy, Christian spent most of his growing up years witnessing the daily agricultural bustle around him. With his grandfather Mr. Abello E. Binauro, Sr., an Outstanding Gawad Saka Awardee in 2004, and his uncle Michael E. Binauro, Outstanding Fisherfolk in 2006, agriculture and fishery are a natural thing for Christian. With such fame and honor for his siblings as motivation, it is no wonder that he aspires for a Gawad Saka Award in his young age.
Christian is the eldest of the family. His father abandoned them when he was two years old. But this did not give him any less of a father figure. What with his mother, a grandfather, an uncle and other relatives around, who would need more for Christian to excel in his young age. He was an outstanding student of Irene B. Antonio (IBA) College of Mindanao, a 4-H Club President of his barangay and Vice President for Valencia City Federation, and a Youth Leader of the city.
“Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. Though a clichéd biblical quote, this was handed down to Christian from his grandfather and served as his guiding mantra which he practiced in the pursuit of his agricultural venture. Growing up with the right people around, Christian felt how the project run and learned the business of hito and tilapia production.
What made him a 2018 Gawad Saka National Winner in the Young Farmer/Fisherfolk category? It is mainly his Hito Breeding business. He learned the technology from his grandfather’s tilapia production and hito production and breeding in the early years. But with the twist of fate, the death of his grandfather left the business and its facilities abandoned. The building up of interest and passion for agriculture drove Christian to loop his studies, social activities, and farming and fish breeding in his daily routine.
After sometime of practice he was able to perfect the craft and also became skilful in hito breeder selection. But Christian wasn’t satisfied with what he learned. Out of curiosity and trying to find something better for the business, he tried some innovations by using the pituitary gland of pangasius or cream dory in order to produce more fingerlings. With his tilapia and hito production coupled with hito breeding and fingerlings business, he is earning an average of 200 pesos a year.
Though working and earning enough for a student, the income goaded Christian to seek for more knowledge and skills in agriculture and fishery. He never declined an invitation to trainings and seminars in order to utilize all the potential areas in their backyard. He grows vegetables such as squash, kangkong and gabi in vacant lots, and planted string beans in the paddies. These vegetables are not only for their consumption but also mixed with his cultured azolla, corn bran, and other commercial feeds as food for the tilapia and hito.
More of Christian’s agri venture is his swine production. To abate the feeding expenses, he takes time to collect the vegetable waste such as cabbage, pechay and other vegetables from the nearby farmers market as supplemental feeding after the commercial feeds.
Today at the age of 18, Christian is enjoying to attend to his speaking engagements as a Resource Person in different training courses conducted by the ATI, particularly for the 4-H Club members. He will be starting his college life soon. He plans to enter Central Mindanao University(CMU) in Musuan, Bukidnon for, of course, a Bachelor in Agriculture major in Crop Science. Asked as to what are his plans for the future, he said “I will pursue my studies but I will not leave my farming and fishery business. I know it will be hard but with my good intentions and with the blessing of our Creator, I know I can make it.” This, as he is still waiting for the national awarding and the cash prize for the Gawad Saka 2018 winners.