Agriculture - - Money-Maker -

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.

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