By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao

Kristine and Bennie Salanap are the proprietors of a local farm business that deals in mushroom production.

Balai Kabute Farm is a mushroom farm in Malolos, Bulacan owned by Bennie and Kristine, who worked as a transportation operator and geologist, respectively, before venturing into mushroom farming.

According to Kristine, they key to starting a farm business is by starting small no matter how big your dreams may be.

“When people decide to go into a business, they expect that it’ll be successful right away, but that rarely happens in real life,” Kristine said.

She added that people have to be realistic in their goals and start out by setting short-term objectives like producing a certain amount of crops or finding ways to become resilient against extreme weather conditions, before moving on to long-term goals like expansion and infiltrating local markets.

The next thing Kristine said that aspiring agripreneurs should be greatly aware of is their target market.

“People need to pay attention to the market because it’s tricky. When they start out, they need to figure out who can they sell to because even if it’s a good product or service, if it’s not something people find attractive to buy, then they won’t even pay attention to it,” Kristine said.

Kristine added that going slow is also helpful because it keeps a business from plunging towards something that they can’t easily get out of like accepting too many orders without having enough supply.

Lastly, another thing to think about when starting a business is how creative can you be.

“When it comes to a business, you can’t be scared to take risks especially if you think that’s going to help your business grow or be consistent in production,” Kristine said.

Aside from producing fresh oyster mushrooms for their clients, Balai Kabute Farm adds
value to their products by making their excess harvest into mushroom chips made from the cap, and the bits from the stems.

People can choose from their product’s different flavors like sour cream, salted egg, and
barbecue; they also have a mushroom seasoning mix which is an organic and healthy
alternative to commercial food seasonings.

Basically, starting a farm business requires proper planning for it to be set in motion, creativity to produce new products or ideas for the market, and the patience to see it all through.

Read about Balai Kabute Farm’s journey as a mushroom farm in this month’s issue of
Agriculture magazine.