January 1, 2016
Finding the right business to start when returning home is an ambition for many Filipinos working abroad. For Ms. Tess Tenorio, a farming-related business is on the top of her list. After 20 years of working in Saipan as a QA supervisor in a textile company, she decided to return to the country to finally settle down. After her retirement, Ms. Tenorio was able to acquire two hectares of land which she later on developed to a farm. She grows different varieties of ornamental plants and runs a piggery there as well. She had always wanted to have a farm where she can work and unwind at same time.
Ms. Tess Tenorio’s interest in hog raising was further influenced by Feedpro’s Babuyang Walang Amoy technology that she saw in YouTube. In October 2014, she got a chance to attend Agrilink, the biggest annual agribusiness expo in the country. Feedpro was among the exhibitors. By meeting with Feedpro technical staff and attending the seminar on Babuyang Walang Amoy during Agrilink, she was able to get new ideas on how to start running her piggery.
In November of the same year she began developing her farm as a joint venture with her close friend. Called Drely Organic Farm, it is located in a breezy hillside in Manaol, Nagcarlan, Laguna. Its most prominent characteristic is all of the farm’s structures are made of bamboo. The bamboo’s “comprehensive strength” makes it a suitable material for the farm structures. As Ms. Tenorio says, “The use of bamboo is to show to the local residents its other uses…since the plant is found in abundance…using this in an extraordinary way is a big awareness to them.
Taking advantage of the climate of the area, Ms. Tenorio also grows a variety of ornamental plants. The ornamental plants grown in her farm have high commercial values. These include various orchids, African Talisay, and the Podocarpus plant. She has close to 2,000 Podocarpus seedlings that can grow up to 3 meters long and sells for 150 Pesos per foot tall. The plant is very popular in landscaping. The farm was also planted with coconut, banana, tropical grapes and strawberry and Mahogany trees. Aside from plants, there is also a mini culture pond for tilapia and an area allotted for free-range pigs.
Drely Organic started with three sows as initial investment with two of the sows successfully giving birth to 14 piglets each. Profit earned from the grow-out pigs were used to purchase additional sows. Currently, the farm has 19 sows, 6 of which are GP (grandparents) and 4 are F1. Like all the other structures in the farm, the sow pens are also made of bamboo, a stark contrast to the usual commercial sow pens made of steel bars.
Like other Feedpro users, Ms. Tenorio adopted the Babuyang Walang Amoy technology to simplify work in the farm. Because the technology allows for less time spent in cleaning the piggery, she now has more time to tend to other farming activities.
In terms of feeding, both breeders and fatteners are given fermented Feedpro feeds to improve nutrient absorption. Ms. Tenorio’s pigs were able to reach a weight of 100 kilos in a span of 3.5 months. The positive result was attributed to the feeds and good genetics.
Many passers-by have been attracted to the farm, having their photos taken in the farm as souvenirs. According to Ms. Tenorio, the Local Government of Nagcarlan is planning to use Drely Organic as a demo farm for the local residents who aspire to have their own farm.
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