BENITO MAGALING – THE SMART URBAN FARMER
YOU MAY NOT HAVE your own farmland, but you can always find the opportunity to conduct your own commercial farming operations. Benito Magaling demonstrated that he is a smart urban farmer by using five blocks of a new but unoccupied subdivision in Lipa City to plant about 15,000 seedlings of the D-Max tomato variety. Magaling’s strategy is to look for vacant lands that are suitable for growing vegetables. His advice for would-be urban farmers is to rent lots in places like vacant subdivisions because these are already fenced and security is available. Likewise, electricity and water may also be available, which means you don’t have to spend much on electricity and water or on fencing the vicinity.
LEARNING FROM TRIAL AND ERROR
Several years back, Magaling was into swine-raising. While he was doing well, the unabated smuggling of meat products took its toll, forcing him to abandon the business. Instead, he opted to rent a two-hectare farm from a land reform beneficiary and used it to grow the Django finger pepper variety. He was successful, but a pest infestation forced him to abandon the profitable project, so he shifted to tomato growing.
Renting or borrowing a piece of land for planting has a major advantage, Magaling says: you can relocate your project any time that you may have to do so. Using this strategy also has the advantage of allowing urban farmers to avoid the buildup of disease organisms or pests in the area where they do their