Agriculture - - From The Editor - >BY ZAC B. SARIAN

YOU WOULD PROB­A­BLY hardly be­lieve that a lady nurse who went to work abroad to get away from the bor­ing life she led in a fish­ing vil­lage has gone back to the vil­lage she dis­liked af­ter 20 years. Now, 16 years later, she has be­come a big-time bangus pro­ducer, har­vest­ing an aver­age of 20 tons ev­ery day. The lady who might as well be called the “Bangus Queen” of Anda, Pan­gasi­nan is the for­mer No­min­isa Rarang, now mar­ried to Feli­ciano Gar­cia, a chef whom she met in Libya.

In 2000, the cou­ple, with their chil­dren in tow, re­turned to Philip­pines to start a new chap­ter in their lives. Feli­ciano, who is good in busi­ness, en­gaged in a buy-and-sell busi­ness based in Ca­pas, Tar­lac. In the mean­while, No­min­isa was in­vited by her brother to in­vest in fish cages for grow­ing bangus in Anda. And that was what she did.

No­min­isa and her brother placed their fish cages near Nara Is­land, which the Rarang clan owned. She started with three fish cages

It was prof­itable be­cause feeds at that time cost only R12 per kilo and one cage con­sumed just about two tons of feed in a cul­ture pe­riod of five months. Her cages in­creased con­tin­u­ally. By 2009, she had al­ready 60 cages of her own. But fish farm­ing has its own risks. And her fish cages were wiped out in one swing of Ty­phoon Emong.

No­min­isa took the tragedy mat­ter-of-factly. She did not give up, though she had to start all over again. By that time, a big feed com­pany that thought she might not be able to pay her obli­ga­tions with­drew her R2 mil­lion credit line.

For­tu­nately, an­other big feed com­pany took over and gave

No­min­isa Rarang-Gar­cia (left) and son Michael. (Be­low, left) A typ­i­cal fish cage at the FN Gar­cia Fish Farm is stocked with 50,000 fin­ger­lings.

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