Some peo­ple pre­fer rent­ing a farm

(Mem­oirs of an Agri Jour­nal­ist)

Agriculture - - Contents -

IN­STEAD of buy­ing a farm, some peo­ple would rather rent one for their own very good rea­sons. Just like the late Teddy de Dios whom we of­ten met at the Agri-Kapi­han in the late 1980s. He was a scion of a well-to-do op­er­a­tor of a bus com­pany and stud­ied in a well known pri­vate univer­sity.

Although he did not study agri­cul­ture in col­lege, he had a pas­sion for agribusi­ness, par­tic­u­larly pig­gery and poul­try. At the time of our meet­ings, he was oper­at­ing a pig­gery and a broiler farm in rented farms in An­tipolo City.

His fa­vorite farms to rent were those that were closed down for var­i­ous rea­sons. It could be that the feeds had be­come so ex­pen­sive that it was no longer fea­si­ble for the owner to con­tinue oper­at­ing. It could also be that the founder had passed away and no one in the fam­ily was in­ter­ested in con­tin­u­ing the busi­ness. The farm owner could have been the vic­tim of his thiev­ing man­agers so he had to close down. Or a la­bor prob­lem could have prompted him to shut down the farm.

Any­way, there were many rea­sons for aban­don­ing or clos­ing down farms and Teddy was al­ways on the look out for them. He had very good rea­sons for rent­ing a farm that was aban­doned. He pointed out that it needed much less cap­i­tal to re­ha­bil­i­tate aban­doned hous­ing for swine or poul­try than to build a new one. And he could start oper­at­ing within a short pe­riod.

Also, old farms usu­ally al­ready have wa­ter source, elec­tric­ity, fence, liv­ing quar­ters for farm work­ers and the like. Teddy also loved to rent aban­doned live­stock farms near Metro Manila be­cause the mar­ket for his pro­duce was near and so the cost of trans­port­ing the an­i­mals to the mar­ket is more af­ford­able. Also it took him much less time to reach his farm project from where he lived in Que­zon City.

Another ad­van­tage of rent­ing a farm is that one does not have to pay for the land taxes. Another is that when the rented place has be­come se­ri­ously in­fected with dis­eases, the renter could al­ways look for another place to rent else­where.

Bobby Gue­vara was another fel­low who fre­quented the AgriKapi­han at the old Manila Seedling Bank in Que­zon City. He is a scion of a well-to-do fam­ily who had farms in east­ern Rizal but he opted to rent the va­cant space at the Ate­neo Univer­sity where he planted sweet corn. As far as we know, it was Bobby who pop­u­lar­ized what is now called Ja­panese sweet corn, which is not re­ally Ja­panese be­cause the va­ri­ety was de­vel­oped in Tai­wan.

Bobby loved the rented place be­cause it was so strate­gic for mar­ket­ing his har­vests. Stu­dents, as well as ev­ery­body else, loved Bobby’s sweet corn. He used to quip that his sweet corn was the sweet­est be­cause he used the wa­ter from the canal from an ad­ja­cent girls’ school’. The urine of the Mary­knollers, he said, made his Ja­panese corn su­per­sweet. Of course, that was just a joke. – ZAC B. SARIAN

Rent­ing an ex­ist­ing pig farm means less cap­i­tal re­quired.

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