Young Mushroom Grower Uses Storytelling as Digital Marketing Strategy

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Bong Quemado takes charge of all marketing-related activities of "Mushroom City" in Malaybalay, Bukidnon. (photo from Bong Quemado's Facebook profile)

DILIMAN, Quezon City—A young mushroom grower from Malaybalay, Bukidnon is using storytelling to market their products online.

Edsel James “Bong” Quemado shared that storytelling attracts more customers and, therefore, sees it as key to effective digital marketing in the latest “Agri Asenso” episode on DZRH. This teleradyo program is led by the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI).

During the interview, Quemado said that storytelling brings the focus of the customers on the social impact of the brand or product. 

“It [storytelling] builds more engagement and creates conversation with customers in a way that increases brand recognition,” he remarked, as he explained how he uses social media, particularly Facebook, for their agribusiness.

“With the restrictions during the pandemic, we need to improvise in production and marketing,” he furthered.

Together with his younger brother, Ted, Quemado put up “Mushroom City” in 2020. Their products are mainly fresh mushrooms, fruiting bags, and mushroom-based food such as guilt-free chicharon, atsara, and chili garlic, among others.  

Quemado recounted their beginnings in the industry and how they used up savings from their allowances back in college to start cultivating and selling mushrooms.

At present, “Mushroom City” supplies products in some cafes and individual consumers all over Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro, and Davao City. They have, likewise, started expanding their enterprise, and are now exploring the production of vermicast, bamboo, African talisay seedlings, and livestock.

“Mushroom City” is an ATI-certified Learning Site for Agriculture and soon to be an accredited assessment center and farm school of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. It serves as a venue for seminars on mushroom-related technologies for co-farmers in the region, some rebel returnees, and professionals.

They are also working with selected government and academic institutions, specifically on technological business incubation. Similarly, they have distributed mushroom products for around 3,000 families in their locality during the enhanced community quarantine.

Apart from these, the Quemado brothers are serving as resource speakers in various training and advisory services by the ATI and other organizations in the region.

Meanwhile, as a participant of the ATI and Smart Communications’ Digital Farmers Program 101 in 2019, Quemado shared during the interview that the program has “helped him build his skills on social media marketing.”

The young mushroom grower, finally, called on his fellow gen-Z members to find their way into the agriculture sector.

“Agriculture needs people from our generation and even from other professions,” he expressed.

This episode, hosted by ATI-Information Services Division Chief Antonieta Arceo and DZRH reporter Henry Uri, was livestreamed last June 12 at 5PM via the ATI and DZRH social media pages. The next episode will uncover the basics of hydroponics. 

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Extension services continue to evolve. With the challenges that extension workers and farmers face, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) continues to explore various strategies to improve its efforts as the extension and training arm of the Department of Agriculture. In over 30 years, the ATI has celebrated various successes and learned from the lessons during hard times. Nonetheless, we are proud to be standing the test of time through the support of our partners and the clientele themselves. This is the ATI Today, more committed to bring you extension services beyond boundaries.