Behind a farmers success is a woman and CARP

PABLO web01WHILE some farmers’ children are seeking greener pasture in the cities, Pablo Bansag is making a fortune by cultivating the farm many of the youth today are turning their backs

And he seemed to have made the right decision of staying and harnessing the one-hectare farm that the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) had awarded to his wife, Rita, in Barangay Anopog, Pinamungajan town, Cebu.

PABLO web03Coupled with other agri-business enterprises that he and his wife, Rita, had engaged into, the family’s cash register just keeps on ringing from the proceeds of their farming

Pablo, whose peers fondly call him “Blo,” says about half of the farm is planted to corn, from which the couple has an average gross earning of P8,000 per harvest, and the other half to vegetables, which deliver an annual gross sales of P100,000.

That is just a small part of what the couple actually earns as they have ventured to other businesses such as variety store, eatery, bakeshop, hog farming and rent-a-car, comprising of two vans.

Their P300,000-hog farm is now a big enterprise, as well. It has grown ten times from its humble beginning as a backyard piggery in 2006 initially with 12 piglets to 120 heads of piglets and ready for market adult. Every month, they sold 40 pigs, each weighing 60 kilograms, at P7,000 per head for a monthly gross income of P280,000.

Add to them the couple’s income from their variety store and eatery, bakeshop and rent-a-car and they could easily become instant millionaires, having been earning close to P1 million annually, not bad for a man who used to hop from one place to another in search for greener pasture.

pablo web02Blo recalled that life was not rosy for him during his early years in life. He was left under the care of his aunt in his birthplace of Toledo City when his parents migrated to Davao. Due to financial constraint, he quit schooling in 1975 to join his parents in Davao and help till the farm the government awarded to his parent.

In 1977, he returned to Toledo City and was adopted by an ordinary employee of a mining company. Two years later, he got married to Rita. His foster parent recommended him as a skilled welder in the same mining firm where the former had been working and was fortunately hired until the firm closed shop in 1994.

The couple used the P20,000 separation pay Blo received from the firm to put up a variety store to meet their daily subsistence. To augment their income, he bought a chainsaw to engage in logging business.

Then came 1998 when the farm the couple is now tilling was awarded to his wife. But lack of irrigation limited their farming operations.

Six years later, their prayers were answered when the government, through the Agrarian Reform Infrastructure and Support Project (ARISP), build the P11-million irrigation project. Since then, their farm has become more productive as they were able to have two to three cropping seasons.

Truly, CARP has turned things around for Blo and his better half.