BEN­ITO MA­G­A­L­ING – THE SMART UR­BAN FARMER

Agriculture - - Really Smart -

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

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