When Francisco ‘JR’ Mabanta saw how Ronald Costales grows his organic pigs, he immediately started his own project in his wife’s home town, Moncada, Tarlac.

By Zac B. Sarian

Francisco ‘JR’ Mabanta is one fellow who does not procrastinate. When he sees an opportunity, he grabs it right away. Just like after joining the AANI Farm Tour that visited the Costales Nature Farms in Majayjay, Laguna last year. When he saw how Ronald Costales grows his organic pigs, he immediately started his own project in his wife’s home town, Moncada, Tarlac.

He started his project with just six piglets but he is so excited now that he wants to expand his piggery. He uses rice hull as his pigpen’s flooring and sprays EM or Effective Microorganisms to eliminate the usual foul odor in a piggery. And he also formulates his own feeds.

A big portion of his feed consists of yellow corn. He noticed, however, that corn grits cost Php20 per kilo whereas the whole grains can be bought for just Php12 per kilo. What he did was to buy a corn pulverizer that converts the grains into a coarse powder. He paid Php14,400 for the machine but he can ultimately recover the cost because he now saves a lot. He could also make extra money if he sells his pulverized corn to other raisers at a margin.

He bought his piglets from a friend in Manaoag, Pangasinan, his hometown. He paid Php2,400
for each but he had to hire a tricycle to bring the piglets to Moncada some 40 kilometers
away at a cost of Php600. He transported them before sunrise so the piglets will not suffer from heat stroke.

For convenience in record keeping, he has christened all his pigs. He has named one
female which he calls “very sexy” after a popular movie star. He said he will retain this as his first breeder.

This early, some people are already getting curious about the way JR grows his pigs. They want to follow his system, too. When he was just starting, some of his neighbors were skeptical about what he was doing. But now, they must have changed their minds.

One lesson that can be learned from JR Mabanta is that we should not procrastinate. Whenever we see a good opportunity, we should not tarry. We should grab it right away. We should start now, not later. By the way, he is an employee of Manila Bulletin.

This appeared as “This Fellow Does Not Procrastinate” in Agriculture Monthly’s February 2015 issue.