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From Seeds To Seedlings To Fruits To Profits

Who could have thought that a fishball vendor would later turn into a millionaire?

By following her gut-feel, Desiree “Daisy” Duran, has become one of the most successful vegetable growers of Basuit, San Ildefonso, Bulacan today.

From seeds . . .

While she only finished elementary, it never hindered her determination to learn, to be an entrepreneur, and to succeed. She has proven time and time again that she is no ordinary woman for she knows what she wants and goes out of her way to get it. Before she discovered the benefits of growing vegetables, Daisy sold fishballs and isaw as well as other grocery items to Basuit locals to augment the income of their household.

Eight years ago, Daisy first ventured into planting off-season vegetables after attending a farmers’ training under the “Unlad Buhay sa Nayon Program” of the Bulacan Agricultural State College, the Provincial Government of Bulacan and the Municipal Government of San Ildefonso.

Thereafter, she wasted no time and immediately embarked into a project that has brought her income, success, and the respect of all Bulakeños.

Initially, she experimented with planting grafted tomato in a 1,000-square meter plot. From this she earned a cool P70,000.00, not bad for a newbie in the industry. Later, she converted a one-hectare family-owned rainfed riceland into an oasis of pinakbet veggies, which include eggplant, ampalya, upo, and patola. She has also planted hot and sweet pepper, cucumber, and tomato. All of which she intercrop with Sinta papaya.

…to seedlings….

In 2003, Daisy yet again ventured into another income-generating project. With the assistance of the Department of Agriculture, the East-West Seed Company, and the local agri offices, she developed seedlings to sell to other vegetable growers in their area who do not have the time or expertise to do so.

In three years time, Daisy – - – now dubbed as the seedling lady of the province, expanded her single greenhouse project into 6 units capable of producing less than 200,000 assorted vegetable seedlings on a monthly basis. These seedlings are sold at P2.00.

….to fruits….

What was once a quiet and quaint community in the outskirts of San Ildefonso, Basuit is now known as the Vegetable Basket of the municipality thanks to Daisy all the other vegetable growers in the area.

The group, thru her leadership, has formed the Basuit Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative to get a better bargain for their produce. They are also connected with DA’s Direct Market Linkage Program which enables them to sell their produce at bagsakan centers and food terminals minus the middlemen thus giving them a much higher profit.

…to profits

Small seeds, when properly nurtured and cared for, turn into big fruits, and in Daisy’s case big big profits. Daisy was able to acquire half a hectare land, a truck, an owner-type jeep, a motorcycle, and a 4×4 pick-up truck with the earnings of her agricultural endeavors. She is also able to provide quality education to her three children whose ages range from 12 – 17 as well as employment to the women in her community.

Nowadays, Daisy not only extends her seedling stocks to other vegetable growers but gives lectures and teaches her tested technology on its production and marketing strategy. She even gets to travel to share her knowledge and success.

So….who wants to grow vegetables?

By Adora Dolores Rodriguez

email : adora_rodriguez[at]yahoo.com