By Julio P. Yap Jr.

The production of quality seedlings is crucial for vegetable crops to attain good growth and better performance. Healthy seedlings grown in a well-managed nursery can produce better yields and be expected to return a more realistic profit.

These days, some broad-minded farmers and agriculture entrepreneurs have shifted to the production of seedlings with the use of seedling trays as their source of income—just like a certain couple in Barangay Sapang Pahalang, San Rafael, Bulacan.

This is the entrance to the Alcantara seedling nursery. Notice their blooming vandas along the fence of the nursery.

After they realized that such a venture was more manageable and practical, the husband and wife team of Jimmy and Meriane Alcantara chose to engage in the production of quality seedlings. They established a vegetable nursery in their backyard for growing young vegetable seedlings until these are ready for planting at the farms of their clients.

The Alcantaras say that the success of a production method will greatly depend on the kind of seeds they sow and the farm inputs they use. They developed their own planting medium and use an organic fertilizer that encourages better germination and growth during the process of seedling production.

Currently, the couple uses Amino Plus Foliar Fertilizer for cultivating the different varieties of vegetable seedlings they produce, which include pepper, tomato, eggplant, and papaya in their backyard, which measures less than 500 square meters. They say that the organic fertilizer resulted in better quality seedlings.

The seedlings that were sprayed with Amino Plus became more resistant to diseases and stressors. When sprayed, it effectively adheres to the plant’s surface and provides quick nutrient supplementation.

The couple has also devised a system to protect the seedlings during the rainy season. It features an improvised greenhouse which is very simple and practical to use.

Today, thanks to their innovations and the quality inputs they use, the Alcantaras have increased the capacity of their nursery, which they said can produce thousands of quality seedlings at any given time to fill the orders of their clientele. They are now commercial producers of quality seedlings who are also role models for the other traditional farmers in their area.

The Alcantaras also share their technical know-how with local farmers on how to properly take care of their vegetable crops by using Amino Plus Foliar Fertilizer. The product was introduced to the couple by Bernie Villaceran, a farm technician from Global Green Organic Fertilizer, Inc., makers of the Amino Plus Foliar Fertilizer. The Alcantaras say the technician explained to them that damage to agricultural crops can be prevented or minimized with the proper application of the organic farm input.

This appeared as Producing Quality Seeds Can Be Lucrative in Agriculture Monthly’s November 2016 issue.