Curiosity. The story of Carlito Nalagon Sr. and Florifes Nalagon
“I take you to be my beloved, I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health”. Vows are sacred part of the wedding ceremony. It binds two people to share their life together and set the tone for what is to come. Even in farming!
The couple Carlito Nalagon Sr. and Florifes Nalagon at their adlai farm
The couple Carlito Nalagon Sr., and Florifes Nalagon or simply Manong Boy and Manang Tata have lived their lives and children through farming. Without any other sources of income, the couple relies in farming for their existence. The husband and wife tandem raises corn and watermelon. Just like other farmers in the community, Manong Boy and Manang Tata have to contend themselves with a meager income out of corn and watermelon. Their lives have changed upon learning the economic benefits of adlai.
Their son, who is fondly called by family and friends as Edroy, had a chance to know about in adlai when he was hired by T2G in milling the adlai. Curious about adlai, he asked T2G about its benefits.
Upon learning the potential income of adlai from their son, the couple immediately rented 1.75 hectares of land in their community at Php13,000 for one year. Using their loan from ACPC, the couple bought their adlai seeds from the neighboring community and purchase chicken dungs and vermi-compost as fertilizers. Using organic inputs proved to be successful as evident by the growth of their adlai.
Manong Boy and Manang Tata together planted their first adlai in November 2020. In April 2021, the couple harvested more than 4 metric tons which was all bought by T2G. The couple generated an income of Php204,300. “I am very happy that out of curiosity, we tried adlai. Never in our entire life that we dream of having Php204,300 in our hands. We can’t find this amount if we continue planting corn and watermelon,” Manong Boy said.
Adlai, the new wonder crop
The Department of Agriculture is now promoting adlai as a healthier alternative to rice. However for farmers in Misamis Oriental, income is the major factor why they choose to plant adlai. It provides them with more income than any other crops they have planted. The average income of adlai per cropping in Claveria is about Php125,000 or Php250,000 per year for 2 croppings. According to the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) the average income of farmers in planting yellow corn in 2016 declined by 32% to Php7,119 from Php10,490 recorded in 2015. In terms of gross income, Ilocos region’s average gross income per hectare is Php77,925 and Central Luzon at Php66,329, a far cry from what adlai farmers in Claveria earn.
There is a surge in the demand of healthy and nutritious foods in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the consumption of these nutritious and healthy products. Adlai is considered the “most saleable” product of GlowCorp in its online shops in Lazada and Shopee. It sold more than Php560,000 worth of adlai when it started introducing adlai in November 2020. The introduction of adlai in the retail markets has tremendously increased the sales of adlai. In the first 4 months of 2021, GlowCorp sold Php1.2M worth of adlai, indicating the strong market demand of the product.
Prime Organics Adlai, a rice and corn substitute.
Access to better markets
Trunk to Gold (T2G) is responsible in 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.