The Agriculture Training Institute in Northern Mindanao (ATI-NorMin) recently launched Bahandi-Batang Agricultural Extensionist (BAE).
“Bahandi-Batang Agricultural Extensionist (BAE) is ATI-NorMin’s fifth corporate book, but it is the first book of its kind which heavily features its young farmer partners in Region 10. The 15 stories collected in this edition intend to convince the youth, from all walks of life, to engage and venture in agriculture to make our country, and our future food-secure,” says ATI Media Production Specialist Vic Thor Palarca, who was involved in the book’s production.
The book is divided into two sections: young farmers below 30 years old and next generation (next-gen) farmers years old and above. “Another criteria was that they should at least manage a thriving farm (or own a farm) and practice appropriate farming technologies. Also featured in the book are young farmers who have engaged in agribusiness or developed an agri-related product.”
A lot of the farmers featured in BAE are superstars in the area. Three to watch out for are the Quemado Brothers of Mushroom City, Andre Paulo Paraguya of Spring Dairy Farm, and Yeltsin Kaiser Mercader of Ilaya Farm. Palarca shares his thoughts on them:
“Bong and Ted [Quemado of Mushroom City] are inseparable, and the good thing is that aside from being brothers and business partners, they both have the same vision for their mushroom enterprise. They cover it from production to innovation, and they are keen on business opportunities outside their expertise.
“Andre Paulo Paraguya of Spring Dairy Farm came up with quality and affordable ready-to-drink bottled milk in his hometown. He’s the lone dairy farmer I have interviewed, so far. The last time I was in his farm, Paulo was already perfecting a variety of dairy products like cheese and yogurt.
“I commend [Yeltsin Kaiser Mercader of Ilaya Farm’s] single-mindedness to prove to people that there is money in farming. Aside from profiting in his diversified farm as a contract grower for GreenMinds Incorporated, he now also operates a successful poultry farm. Also, he is about to open an organic restaurant with catering services soon in partnership with his chef sister sometime this year.”
The farmers featured in Bahandi-Batang Agricultural Extensionist are proof that not only are young people interested in farming, but that they are making good money from it, too.
“I have to say that readers can learn and glean lessons on the value of hard work and tenacity,” Palarca says. Most of [the farmers] shared the difficulties and disappointments they have to endure and go through, but all of them mentioned how hard work, coupled with determination and perseverance, helped them to triumph in their fields and enjoy the success they are experiencing now.”
Photos courtesy of ATI-NorMin
For a free copy of Bahandi-Batang Agricultural Extensionist, Drop by ATI El Salvador City, Misamis Oriental or download an e-copy at: https://ati.da.gov.ph/ati-10/content/bahandi-batang-agricultural-extensionist