Young people are running away from farming now. Everyone is going to the city and it seems like nobody likes to work with the soil anymore. Ironically, farming provides food on the table. However, we are convinced with numbers and figures, since we need money to survive. What if you can earn P2 million a year just by tilling the soil, will it ring a bell?
FROM POLITICS TO FARMING
Loreto Leo Ocampos is the owner of Hoyohoy Highland Stone Chapel Organic Farm & Adventure Park in Tangub City, Misamis Occidental. He is also the former governor of the province. Retirement from politics put him on the path to realize and finally commit himself in agriculture and organic farming. Now, he is one of the strongest advocates of organic farming in Mindanao. He assures the youth that farming is a profitable venture since he has been doing it for so many years. As the saying goes, ‘just charge it to experience.’ Few months from now, he will be harvesting his produce from the 3,000 sacks of ginger. From this, he targets to raise P2 million. With almost P30,000 to P40,000 as capital, this made his income 4,900 times bigger than the capital. Isn’t it a big amount coming from a ginger? Yes, you can really make a living from agriculture.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND
What’s so special with this multi-million ginger anyway? The production actually start by buying local varieties of ginger to be planted on the sacks. With this, you get the chance to help local providers and, at the same time, cut a lot on transportation costs. You will then need sacks that will serve as pots to hold the soil and the growth of the plant. Then, the gingers are replanted on the sacks filled with soil. The soil should be bombarded with organic fertilizers to rehabilitate its natural nutrients. The method of planting used is sacking. This is effective since it minimizes erosion because the sack holds the soil firmly; limits the growth of weeds and allows easy harvesting since the sack can just be torn apart during harvest. It is very manageable to practice. You can even do it on your small backyard since it won’t really require much areas of land.
HELPING THE COMMUNITY
Among the hired help, some would fill the bags and feed the soil with concoctions while others would plant the ginger. Gov. Ocampos’ business brought employment to the community since the farm required labor force. However, nothing comes on a silver platter, that’s why he made an effort to feed his mind with necessary knowledge from trainings and technical assistance coming from the different government agencies, particularly the Agricultural Training Institute. He also made sure that the market will be favorable for business. By following these strategies, he found the right pill to ease his hunger for knowledge and growth.
When asked about the secret to his growing business, Gov. Ocampos timidly answered ‘LOVE.’ He then repeated with a strong voice, “You must have the love for farming or business.” Then you seek knowledge, since knowledge is something of immeasurable significance and value, he added. However, you got to stay humble, because it defines your journey and your transformation as a person. Lastly, you need to reach out and establish linkages and market.
This is no Jack and the Beanstalk story. This is an actual success of a person who humbled himself in the name of knowledge and worked up to his last dripping sweat to assure security and growth not only for himself but also his community. Undeniably, he is a charmer, maybe because he has very subtle views about the world. Surprisingly, in his age, you can never see a single negativity. He is never eccentric, in fact, he speaks like a 14-year-old idealistic student. He’s so forward-looking with feet buried deep in the ground. He’s a millionaire and he’s humble.
There are a lot of people who know a lot more than we do. That is a reality for us in the millennial age. We enjoy a lot more freedom than any other. We have better resources and bigger opportunities. We should know better since everything is easier now. I guess there’s no harm with believing Gov. Ocampos. We all have the choice whether to be a doctor who saves lives, an engineer who builds bridges, a teacher who molds students, or maybe a farmer who feeds the world. Whatever you choose, let’s not forget to feed the youth inside us. Like Gov. Ocampos who kept on growing up while growing old. Indeed, there’s really a fortune in agriculture. For now, with P30,000 capital for ginger production, I look forward to earning P2 million in nine months. I guess it’s good to venture into farming. Now, does it ring a bell?
Story by: Karl Louise Maligaya Salibio