Being a farmer is one of the noblest tasks that a man can do. You produce food for generations and are a steward of the earth. Your mandate as a farmer is food security at low prices. It is food for all yet gaining profit.
So what do you do to fulfill this marching order? Combine traditional farming with technology and good agriculture practices, and you get all three. And with farm tourism being one of the thrusts of the Departments of Agriculture and Tourism, there is a big chance of succeeding in attaining these goals.
One example can be Alex Gamutan’s AMCG Farm in Mulig, Toril, Davao City. Alex acquired a 400-square meter land as a demo farm for an irrigation system in 2011 and planted different crops.
When you visit the farm, you would see rows of papayas, squash, kangkong, tomatoes, upo, string beans, okra, lettuce, and corn, interspersed with sunflowers and other flowers like marigold as natural insect attractants and repellants.
In February of 2017, he expanded his lot to 1.8 hectares and introduced greenhouses with drip irrigation for his honey dew and lettuce.
So aside from the crops directly on the ground, there are locally fabricated greenhouses and the Israeli-developed greenhouses where one building of 1,536 square meters produces 12 tons of honey dew melon.
Why honeydew and melon? Sir Alex says that for lowland greenhouses, the honeydew melon and lettuce are the best high value crops.
Honeydew can be first harvested after 60 days or 3 months maximum from transplanting and will continually harvest for the next 15 days. It is sold at PhP90.
The lettuce are sold as a plant at PhP10 each so that consumers can put it in their windowsills or kitchen tops and just cut the leaves that they need to use/eat. Others can buy the cut lettuce at PhP90 per kilo.
There is no shortage of market for the honeydew and lettuce as demand is high.
With these high-value crops and other vegetables and fruits at his farm, Sir Alex is planning on having a dining area so that food is produced literally from farm-to-table.
Drip irrigation and greenhouses allow you to plant in places where the land is not that arable. It lets you produce food where traditional farming can be difficult or less productive.
With technology, farmers can ensure healthy and low-priced food for all.
How to get there:
Major airlines fly daily from Davao City from Manila and Cebu. Travel time is an hour and 50 minutes from Manila and 50 minutes from Cebu.
The farm in Mulig, Toril is 30 minutes away from the airport.