By Zac B. Sarian
In 1992, the late Abe Tadeja invited me to his office in Quezon City so could meet and interview Cornelio Junio of Angat, Bulacan. Cornelio had just built his dream house with a floor area of 400 square meters. It had cost him several million pesos but he did not have to borrow from the bank because he had a clever way of saving a big amount.
How did he do it? Well, Cornelio owned a big rice mill which gave him a lot of rice bran which is good for feeding cattle. In 1984, he decided to raise cattle and bought 18 top quality females for breeding, including purebred Brahmans.
He wanted to multiply his cattle as fast as possible. When his breeders gave birth to males, he sold them and whatever income made was used to buy pregnant cows. Not a single peso was spent on anything else. After all, he had other sources of income for his family’s needs.
Eight years later in 1992, he already had 250 head in his herd. He sold 150 of them for a few million pesos and that was what he used to construct his dream house. He did not have to borrow from the bank.
A very clever way to accumulate a big amount, if you ask us.
Marshland in Thailand
Visiting farms in other countries often rewards us with practical ideas that could be copied or duplicated where it is appropriate in the Philippines.
In one place in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where Ric Reyes of East-West Seed brought us in February 2013, we witnessed how a marshland was converted into productive embankments planted to high value crops like cucumber, tomato, eggplant, papaya, and many other crops.
The marshland was dug up with heavy equipment and the excavated material made to form embankments. Canals that are big enough for navigation by small boats or bancas were constructed. It is here where the water for irrigating the crops is sourced. A small boat equipped with irrigation pump moves around to water the planting beds on both sides of the canal.
The farmer uses the banca to haul the harvest to the packing area in his home prior to delivery to the market. The boat is also used to deliver the fertilizer and other inputs to the plantation.
It is also possible for fish, like catfish, to be cultured in the canal. Catfish is a popular species in Thailand.
Now you see, there creative ways to make problem areas productive.