By Julio P. Yap Jr.
An ordinary farmhand can become an agripreneur with sheer determination, patience, and dedication to achieve his or her passion.
This is what happened to Florina and her husband Rolando Cruz of Barangay Basuit in the town of San Ildefonso, province of Bulacan. After being an ordinary laborer at a farm in their hometown for the past several years, Florina tried her luck by starting as a small seedling supplier in her neighbourhood.
According to Florina, she became a seedling supplier in 2011 by using a small portion of their backyard. She narrated that she and her husband had to work hard during that time to be able to support their growing family. But with perseverance, they slowly, but surely, became what they are today: one of the successful seedling suppliers in their area.
Aside from supplying the needs of their growing local clientele, they now have to continue expanding their business to be able to supply the seedling needs of several farmers from as far as Pangasinan and other provinces.
As the seedlings they cultivate grow, so too does their business. From just a small portion of a lot, the couple now has several greenhouses built on about 3,500 square meters of newly acquired land.
During a recent visit to their modest abode, there was a sea of thousands of seedlings sprouting from hundreds of seedling trays inside the greenhouses—some of which were those they built while starting their business, and others the modern ones that they constructed while on their way to success.
Despite their success, many would say that the husband-and-wife team has remained humble and accommodating.
Florina even shared some of the secrets that they used to cultivate the seedlings. They use Amino Plus Foliar Fertilizer on their seedlings prior to delivery to their respective clientele to prevent plant stress.
It was learned that since the organic fertilizer was first introduced to the couple by Bernie Villaceran of Global Green Organic Fertilizer, Inc. some time ago, they have continuously used it.
Villaceran says that damage to agricultural crops due to weather disturbances can be prevented or minimized with the proper application of farm inputs, like organic fertilizers and other related products. Plants sprayed with Amino Plus Foliar Fertilizer are more resistant to diseases and other stresses in the field. When sprayed, it effectively adheres to the plant’s surface and provides quick supplementation.
Amino Plus boosts the growth and productivity of seedlings, including rice, corn, vegetables, fruit trees, ornamentals, and many others. For her part, Florina concocts their own planting material by using coco peat, coco dust, and regular fertilizer during the first few days of the seedlings.
This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s January 2018 issue.