“I won’t consider farming a mere livelihood, it is business.”
This is how Romeo Ponio, a corn farmer of Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte distinctly defined his job as an agripreneurial.
He said that farming is business since it needs investment financially, intellectually and physically.
"In my experience for almost 30 years of farming, a hectare of cornfield needs an investment of not less than P35,000.00 to cover the needed inputs as well as land preparation” Ponio explained.
“During the whole planting season, you need your technical know-how in maintaining and caring your farm as well as a physical visitation of the farm, “ he further said.
Ponio, a hybrid corn farmer in the town is also coined as magsasakang siyentista since he has been consulted by fellow farmers regarding farm production.
“To maintain good harvest, aside from following the right technology, it is important to switch to another variety after 2-3 harvest,” he explained.
He said that maintaining the same variety of corn would affect the vigor of the plant so it is recommended to change variety every now and then.
He further said that a hectare would normally harvest 8-10 metric ton (MT) sold at a prevailing farmgate price he would have recovered more than his investment.
"If you can sell your produce at P13.00 a kilo then you would have a net income of around P70,000.00 in a hectare,” Ponio said.
The town of Las Nieves has been identified by the Department of Agriculture as a corn cluster area having more than 1,000 hectares planted with corn both hybrid and open pollinated variety (OPV).
For those who are planning to engage in farming but not yet sure what to plant, he enticed them to choose corn.
“In corn farming especially hybrid, you don’t need to devote more of your time since it is less labor and easy to sell comes harvest season,” he concluded. (Aurelius P. Arais/DA Caraga)