Mark Mercado, 36, finished an IT course and was an active member of a musical band that performed in various entertainment places. Six years ago, he gave up his musical engagements to become the manager of Heavenly Farm, a farming venture of his three uncles and an aunt based in the United States. The farm is in Amungan, Iba, Zambales.

Mark Mercado and a pack of Sweet Fortune seeds for his next staggered crops.

Last sweet corn cropping season, he planted one hectare to Sweet Fortune, a hybrid distributed by Ramgo Seeds. He was so excited sharing his story in January 2018, saying that he harvested big Class A ears that were very sweet. He said he applied a lot of composted chicken manure in the field, hence the big yield. But having had no previous experience in planting sweet corn, he soon found out that it was problematic to grow quantities of sweet corn that the target market could not absorb immediately. His production on one hectare was much too big for the market in Iba and other towns in Zambales. He says that was a lesson well learned.

Mercado said that he boiled some of his harvest and sold them at P20 per ear. He sold the uncooked ears at P40 per kilo. A kilo usually consisted of three pieces. By the way, Mercado said he came to know about Sweet Fortune when the new variety was featured in the Internet. He ordered his seeds from Ramgo by mail.

As of this writing (January), he has already bought a pack of Sweet Fortune seeds that he will soon plant in a field he has already plowed with his Branson tractor. This time, he will plant just five hundred square meters to be followed by a similar area a week or two later. That way, he expects that he will not have a problem marketing his harvest.

Those interested to plant Sweet Fortune may contact Ramgo’s Pam Ong Chan at 0928.501.1888 or Arieline at 0906.744.6543.

This appeared without a byline in Agriculture Monthly’s February 2018 issue.