“I am not just a farmer; I am an agripreneur,” said Ramon Peñalosa, Jr. during a field day in his farm in Victorias City, Negros Occidental.
Peñalosa, Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) of the Western Visayas Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (WESVARRDEC), showcased his improved housing for swine fattening to 22 farmer-beneficiaries from his locality.
He also showed his improved organic farming practices.
Representing WESVARRDEC Director Joseph Idemne, Dr. Reynaldo Dusaran, Regional Techno Transfer and Promotion Coordinator, echoed MS Peñalosa’s slogan, “There is no unproductive farm; only unproductive farmer”. Thus, he encouraged the participating farmers to follow Peñalosa’s agricultural practices for them to benefit from these.
A farmer beneficiary said that they appreciate Peñalosa’s innovations because aside from the absence of antibiotics and growth hormones, his swine also has a unique meat quality and has less fat. This is so because as part of Peñalosa’s improved housing for swine, the pig pens are designed so that swine manure is systematically converted to vermicast. Considered an excellent organic fertilizer, vermicast allows for improved swine production and additional profit.
Under the Science and Technology-Based Farm of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), Peñalosa uses the probiotics or a series of technologies which promotes organic swine fattening. Incidentally, these practices are consistent with the Organic Negros campaign of the province.
According to another beneficiary, MS Peñalosa did not only inspire the farmers to replicate his technology; his detailed lectures also prove that his technologies are doable and profitable.
Among others, MS Peñalosa stressed that the sustainability of a farming venture can be brought about by the farmer’s entrepreneurial spirit. For Peñalosa, a farmer must possess an “agripreneurial” spirit that while he is passionate in his farming, he also has an enterprising spirit to maximize the opportunities in his farm.
Peñalosa added that a farmer must make “real money” from his hard work.
Aside from Peñalosa’s’ lecture and farm tour, farmer beneficiaries were given piglets. They were also made to form a marketing agreement with Peñalosa. Under the arrangement, farmer beneficiaries will also be provided feeds, probiotics, natural food supplement (NFS), and other inputs. To be able to pay Peñalosa, farmers will have to sell their produce to him.
To ensure the success of the agreement, barangay and other local officials were requested to help monitor the progress of the beneficiaries. (Jethro Dagunan, WESVARRDEC S&T Media Service)