For­mer OFW makes good in farm­ing

Agriculture - - News -

MANY YOUNG men and women as­pire to work abroad be­cause they be­lieve there are no op­por­tu­ni­ties for them in the coun­try. But ac­tu­ally, there are for­mer OFWs who later dis­cov­ered that there is more in­come to be had from farm­ing in the Philip­pines. Just like Lorenzo Car­los, an air­craft me­chanic grad­u­ate who served as a driver for Amer­i­can sol­diers in Afghanistan for four years. He re­ceived about one thou­sand dollars a month, which is rel­a­tively higher than what other OFWs in the Mid­dle East get. One driver from Saudi Ara­bia we in­ter­viewed ear­lier re­ceived only the equiv­a­lent of R30,000 a month.

Any­way, when Lorenzo’s work con­tract ended, he de­cided to go back to his fam­ily in Brgy. Are­nas in Arayat, Pam­panga. In­stead of look­ing for more em­ploy­ment abroad, he de­cided to rent two hectares from his fa­ther so he could go into farm­ing.

To­day, as a grower of am­palaya, tomato, pep­per (pangsi­gang), and upo, he is mak­ing much more than what he was mak­ing in Afghanistan. And there is also the added bonus of be­ing to­gether with his wife and two sons. When we vis­ited his farm re­cently, he had just har­vested the 11th har­vest of 500 ki­los of Mes­tiza am­palaya planted on 2,500 square me­ters. That 500 ki­los earned him R11,000. And he is ex­pect­ing more be­cause he can har­vest nine more times be­fore the plants be­come un­pro­duc­tive.

In a few more weeks, he will start to har­vest from his se­cond am­palaya crop planted on 5,000 square me­ters. Be­cause har­vest­ing comes dur­ing the Christ­mas sea­son, he ex­pects to get a high price for his har­vest. He does not worry about mar­ket­ing be­cause a trader has con­tracted to buy all that he can pro­duce in his farm. Of course, he had a false start. He planted 1,000 pa­payas in­ter­planted with hot pep­per. For one rea­son or an­other, it was a dis­as­ter. The fam­ily lost money on that ven­ture.

But Lorenzo was de­ter­mined to be­come a grower of veg­eta­bles so that even if his wife had sug­gested that it might be bet­ter for him to look for a job abroad. He told his wife to give him one more year to see if farm­ing was for him.

His in­tro­duc­tion to the tech­ni­cians of the East-West Seed turned the tide for him. He planted half a hectare to Django fin­ger

Lorenzo and Aissa Car­los.

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