Resiliency. The story of Genaro Galgao and Bonifacio Bahan
Who would have thought that the lowly and unknown adlai, also known as Job’s Tears would provide better income more than any other crops around? Genaro Galgao and Bonifacio Bahan, both from Misamis Oriental have all proven the economic benefits of adlai in their lives.
Farmers in the mountainous barangays of Claveria in Misamis Oriental ventured into adlai production upon the encouragement of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Trunk to Gold (T2G), a local company that supports the transformation of rural lives from bitter to better, from the misery of poverty to a life of hope and abundance. Manong Genaro and Manong Bonifacio were given training on adlai production facilitated by the Municipal Agriculture’s Office of Claveria, Misamis Oriental. They were provided 10 kilograms each of adlai seeds which is good for 1 hectare.
Since adlai production is totally new for these farmers, they were both hesitant to venture into adlai production because of market uncertainties. T2G comes in and committed to buy all their produce.
“We really need to ensure markets for them, otherwise we cannot encourage them to try new crops that will increase their productivity and income”, Joel Zamayla, President of T2G said. With Php25,000 loan from DA-ACPC for the purchase of organic inputs, the 2 farmers planted adlai in June 2019. The farms however were affected by the El Nino in the last quarter of 2019. Despite harvested only 75% from the expected yield, the 2 farmers were happy to still generate a combined income of Php173,130 from their 2-hectare farms. The loss in yield was compensated by the higher price of adlai bought by T2G, which paid them in cash! Manong Genaro and Manong Bonifacio was able to immediately pay off their Php50,000 loan from ACPC.
Satisfied with the very good income during their first try, Manong Genaro and Manong Bonifacio were encouraged to plant in another area which was abandoned for quite some time. Mr. Zamayla said that aside from increasing the income of the farmers, adlai also encourage farmers to put into productive use their lands that are kept idle for some time. The experience they learned during their first attempt was adopted in their second planting. The production management practices were enhanced and the 2 farmers were expecting for a bumper harvest.
A typhoon however stuck and devastated their crops when it was on the flowering stage. They were forced to ratoon their damaged adlai. Despite the typhoon, Manong Genaro and Manong Bonifacio still managed to generate Php107,250.00 from their 2 hectare farm.
“We could have lost all our investment if we planted different crops. Corn is vulnerable to climate change, it cannot withstand typhoons. But because adlai is resilient, we were able to ratoon it and still provided us with better income.”, Manong Genaro and Manong Bonifacio said.
Access to better markets
Trunk to Gold (T2G) is responsible for consolidating the adlai of farmers in Claveria. Seeing the growing appetite of Filipinos on healthy products, T2G encouraged farmers to plant more adlai. According to Mr. Zamayla, the production of adlai is an opportunity for T2G to diversify their sources of income. But this also encourage farmers to eat healthier foods while offering them alternative sources of better income compared to corn and rice.
T2G is supported by the Global Organic and Wellness Corporation (GlowCorp) in promoting adlai in the mainstream markets. GlowCorp buys most of T2G’s adlai and packed it into 1kg and 500grams using its Prime Organics brand. Prime Organics adlai is already available in selected outlets of Puregold, Rustans, Waltermart and in GlowCorp’s online stores in Lazada and Shopee.