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Neg Occ couple earns extra income from growing veggies through SAAD project

Going into vegetable production is a rewarding yet challenging venture to take. Farmers could easily go out of business if the weather suddenly changes, or if the market price of crops fluctuate.  

Marilou Remontigue and her husband, Armando, are one of the farmers who put their earnest efforts in tending the vegetable production project provided by the Special Area of Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program. 

The couple from Barangay Bagong Silang, Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental earned around Php 34,980 in sales from their two-week harvest from July 5 to 16. 

“Lipay kaayo ko tungod productive gid ang amon ani sa vegetable production project nga gihatag sa programa nga SAAD,” said Marilou, a mother of five. 

(I’m very happy because of our productive harvest from the vegetable production project given by the SAAD.) 

Marilou, a land caretaker, leads 54 members of the Ata Bukidnon Farmers’ Association (ABFA) established and registered under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in 2018. 

Meanwhile, Armando is an ABFA member and works as an on-call laborer. 

Aside from their usual jobs, they also own and manage a 2,500 square meter (sqm) vegetable garden.

Marilou and the 9 first-in-line beneficiaries of the group received Php 366,240 worth of Lowland Vegetable Production Project from SAAD in December 2020. 

The said intervention consists of 12 cans of ampalaya seeds, four cans of eggplant seeds, and four cans of squash seeds. It also includes 48 bags of fertilizer, 10 liters of pesticide, 15 rolls of plastic mulch, four cans of attractant, 200 pieces of seedling trays, 15 spades, 15 spading forks, 15 sprinklers, 15 hand trowels, 15 prong rakes, five pieces of water drums, and five rolls of polyethylene hose. 

The couple planted their seeds in mid-March right after the harvest of their existing crops such as tomato and okra. 

They minimized the use of chemicals in their production. They spray the vegetables with a mixture of chili and coconut vinegar to repel insects that may cause harm in their garden. 

Table 1. ABFA’s Vegetable Harvest

Date

Vegetable Total harvest 
(kg)
Selling Price
(Php)

Gross Income
(Php)

July 1-16 Squash

1,229

20

24,580

Ampalaya

135

40

5,400

Eggplant

250

20

5,000

Total

1,614

34,980

After four months of tending their garden, the Remontigue couple harvested an estimated 1,614 kilograms (kg) of assorted vegetables. They allot a small portion of the yield for their family’s daily consumption.

Marilou said they also sell their produce at the capital city of Bacolod or “bolante” every weekend during the market day when the demand is high. 

The couple also trade their vegetables at their stall along the road in front of their house which happened to attract more locals and passersby from neighboring towns who would purchase and pick up their vegetables at a good price. 

Impact of the SAAD Program

As a land caretaker, Marilou is earning Php 1,700 a month while Armando is earning Php 500 to 600 monthly. 

With their flourishing vegetable production, Armando stopped working as a laborer to help her wife on their vegetable farm. 

The Remontigue family developed not only a farm plan but a family schedule wherein they will work together in their vegetable garden from 6-9am and 4-5pm.

From the income they got from the vegetable production, Marilou purchased household appliances, kitchen wares for their small coffee shop, and a mobile phone for their children’s online classes.

“Daghang salamat sa SAAD tungod sa vegetable production project nakakuha kami dugang nga kita ug gipalit kung unsa ang kinahanglan namon aron masuportahan ang among mga anak,” said Marilou. 

(Thank you so much to the SAAD program because we earned extra income from our vegetable production project which we used to buy our needs and support our children.)

Plans

The couple looks forward to expanding their area for vegetable production because they realized that they can gain more income, especially now that they have loyal buyers of their produce. 

Marilou also plans to venture into value-adding activities such as food processing by producing savory and nutritious squash jam. 

To note, their group is set to participate in a series of training on bookkeeping, value-adding on vegetable processing such as making pickles and jam, and enterprise development in September and October.  

As a leader of the ABFA, Marilou will also encourage her co-members to produce more vegetables so that they could find better market options for their harvest and sustain the demand of the growing local market. ### 

 

Writer: CJ Gamarcha/DA SAAD Western Visayas

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Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program Online ISSN: 2718-9791
Published by the SAAD National Program Management Office Editorial Board

Contact | Follow @da.saadprogram

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
Republic of the Philippines

William D. Dar, Ph. D.
Secretary, Department of Agriculture

Myer G. Mula, Ph. D.
Program Director

                  

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