Supporting the social contract of President Benigno S. Aquino III with the Filipinos, the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) promotes strategies on optimizing farms through series of field days conducted across the country during the last two months.
The activities are under the Rural Transformation Movement operationalizing within one of PhilRice campaigns dubbed as Gusto Namin Milyonaryo Kayo. The campaign aims to change tillers’ behavior on farm enterprise.
Ronan Zagado, campaign lead, said that nucleus estates starting from 10 PhilRice stations will be established highlighting diversified farming and agri-business ventures. Nucleus estates will be put up to give farmers access to support services including training, input, custom services, modern support technologies, product development and packaging, and marketing.
PhilRice encourages farmers to incorporate other sources of income such as mushroom production. In Brgy. Rayuray, Batac, Ilocos Norte, farmers produced more than a thousand mushroom fruiting bags two months after their training.
Mon Peñalosa, entrepreneur in Negros Occidental said, agriculture provides good income but farmers “suffer because they lack knowledge.”
“One sow can give P30,000 income a year; lettuce, P200 in a sqm a week; and broiler, P150,000 in 150 sqm a month. Combining income from livestock and crops can yield a million income a year,” he said.
However, Peñalosa said that transformation is needed to raise farmers` income.
“There must be a shift from being a farmer to entrepreneur; from monocrop to integrated farming; from conventional to organic farming; and from merely a farm to farm tourism,” he said.
“There is money in the countryside. We just have to be productive,” he added.