Dragon fruit farm saves big amount with drip ir­ri­ga­tion

Agriculture - - Contents -

A 22-HECTARE dragon fruit farm in An­ge­les City saved a big amount dur­ing the last sum­mer months, thanks to an af­ford­able drip ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem sup­plied by Greg de los Tri­nos who was helped by the De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture to de­velop his drip sys­tem. Ac­cord­ing to Crisper Gar­cia who man­ages Dragon­fruit Philip­pines, Inc. (DPI), be­fore the drip sys­tem was in­stalled in the en­tire farm, the com­pany spent a for­tune man­u­ally wa­ter­ing the 40,000 dragon fruit posts. They needed 57 farm work­ers to wa­ter the plants man­u­ally in one day be­cause one worker can only wa­ter about 700 posts and he is paid a R350 daily wage.

The cost of the drip sys­tem, ac­cord­ing to Gar­cia, is just the equiv­a­lent of one month’s wages of the man­ual wa­ter­ers. And the drip sys­tem can last for at least five years.

With the drip sys­tem, the plants are wa­tered more uni­formly and ad­e­quately. With suf­fi­cient wa­ter­ing, the fruits could be­come big­ger and with bet­ter qual­ity. This year, Gar­cia said, they ex­pect to har­vest at least 500 tons of fruits.

The man­age­ment of the farm does not only look at sup­ply­ing the mar­ket with fresh fruits. They are de­vel­op­ing other prod­ucts that in­clude dragon fruit chips. The prod­uct is un­der de­vel­op­ment but it has great po­ten­tials. The chips are all nat­u­ral–no su­gar added. The slices are sim­ply dried to

a de­sired mois­ture con­tent. So far, the chips are very nice to eat, chewy and with the right sweet­ness. If pro­duced com­mer­cially and packed at­trac­tively, the prod­uct could be­come a best­seller. Ex­cess fruit pro­duc­tion that can­not be ab­sorbed by the fresh fruit mar­ket could be pro­cessed for added value.— ZBS

Gar­cia and dragon fruit as far as the eye can see.

Greg de los Tri­nos (left) and Crisper Gar­cia pose with drip ir­ri­ga­tion line at the big dragon fruit farm in An­ge­les City.

Close up of dragon fruit chips de­vel­oped by DPI.

De los Tri­nos and Gar­cia with sliced dragon fruit at left and a plate of dragon fruit chips at right.

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