Rice Farmer in Bukidnon Pushes for Value Addition, Sustainable Farming

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Engallado's barquirice

Barquirice is one of the most famous offerings of Engallado’s Nature Farm and Natural Food Products.

DILIMAN, Quezon City—Bukidnon-based agripreneur Nick Jay Arr Engallado continues to bring rice production and processing up a notch with another product innovation in the offing.

In a radio interview, Engallado revealed a new product line is coming to add to an already wide variety of rice-based products from Engallado’s Nature Farm and Natural Food Products located in Brgy. Tongantongan, Valencia City. Some of their most sought-after products are barquirice, rice buttons, rice cookies, rice coffee blends, piaya, and merengue.

Soon, customers will also get to taste Engallado’s rice ice cream, which will be offered in a few variants including one mixed with blue ternate or butterfly pea.

“What is important to us farmers is to have a mindset that we are not just laborers but businessmen or entrepreneurs. By having this mindset, we can induce different innovations which will improve our products and maximize our earnings in farming,” Engallado said during the interview that aired on DZRH.

Engallado’s farm was established by his father, Nicasio, in 1997 in partnership with the Xavier University Sustainable Agriculture Center. They grow organic rice called Nicken brown and Nicken red which were developed by Nicasio himself.

In 2004, Engallado’s family ventured into value addition after seeing the gap in the market as farmers’ produce is being sold at a low price.

By processing their rice produce and coming up with product innovations, the Engallados are able to increase the value of their products which gives them the edge in getting additional income.

“Venturing into value addition gave us an opportunity to gain more income compared to selling our raw produce directly. It is also easier to market as we don’t have to compete with other rice producers in our area,” Engallado explained.

The 33-year-old agripreneur also shared that his father learned how to make their rice-based products from their relatives in Bacolod City who own “Sugarlandia”, the store famous for producing barquillos, piaya, and other pasalubong items.

In terms of rice production, the Engallados make use of rice intensification wherein nutrient and water management are key components in nurturing the rice plant and boosting its yield.

They also use asset-based sustainable agriculture farming system in which resources in their farm or in their community are utilized to minimize outsourcing of materials from which will have additional cost.

“As much as possible, we use only the resources that we have here in our farm. We do this so that when we have visitors, they can see that everything that we sell or promote came from the farm itself,” Engallado explained.

Their 3.14-hectare farm now holds not only rice but is now being integrated with vegetables and aquaculture. They use water harvesting system of the aquaculture during the dry season to have continuous supply of water.

They also have their own machinery in making rice-based delicacies which they got with the help of the Department of Science and Technology.

Through value-adding, Engallado shared that they earn thrice as much as selling rice directly. Aside from their own shop in Valencia, they also sell their products in pasalubong centers, hospitals, restaurants, trade fairs, even reaching other locations like Cagayan de Oro through online orders.

Engallado’s Nature Farm and Natural Food Products is a certified Learning Site for Agriculture of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI).

Their rice-based agribusiness was featured on the ATI’s teleradyo program, “Agri Asenso”, on DZRH last November 27, 2021, as part of the celebration of the National Rice Awareness Month. (with reports from Jayvee Masilang)

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