PRODUCING QUALITY SEEDLINGS CAN BE LUCRATIVE
THE PRODUCTION of quality seedlings is crucial for vegetable crops to attain good growth and better performance. Healthy seedlings grown in a well-managed nursery can produce better yields and be expected to return a more realistic profit.
These days, some broad-minded farmers and agriculture entrepreneurs have shifted to the production of seedlings with the use of seedling trays as their source of income—just like a certain couple in Barangay Sapang Pahalang, San Rafael, Bulacan.
After they realized that such a venture was more manageable and practical, the husband and wife team of Jimmy and Meriane Alcantara chose to engage in the production of quality seedlings. They established a vegetable nursery in their backyard for growing young vegetable seedlings until these are ready for planting at the farms of their clients.
The Alcantaras say that the success of a production method will greatly depend on the kind of seeds they sow and the farm inputs they use. They developed their own planting medium and use an organic fertilizer that encourages better germination and growth during the process of seedling production.
Currently, the couple uses Amino Plus Foliar Fertilizer for cultivating the different varieties of vegetable seedlings they produce, which include pepper, tomato, eggplant, and papaya in their backyard, which measures less than 500 square meters. They say that the organic fertilizer resulted in better quality seedlings.
The seedlings that were sprayed with Amino Plus became more resistant to diseases and stressors. When sprayed, it effectively adheres to the plant’s surface and provides quick nutrient supplementation.
The couple has also devised a system to protect the seedlings during the rainy season. It features an improvised greenhouse which is very simple and practical to use.
Today, thanks to their innovations and the quality inputs they use, the Alcantaras have increased the capacity of their nursery, which they said can produce thousands of quality seedlings at any given time to fill the orders of their clientele. They are now commercial producers of quality seedlings who are also role models for the other traditional farmers in their area.
Meriane Alcantara shows a seedling bag with ready-to-plant papaya seedlings.