BIG Establishment

It is often said that success is for those who work for it. It is for those who take initiative and take risks to explore opportunities and possibilities that may work. Success is always for the people who creatively use their resources for the betterment of their lives. This is a story of Armanoches Group’s Bio-Intensive Gardening (BIG) in Barangay Namnama, Titay, Zamboanga Sibugay.

The group has 35 members that started the communal gardening in August 2017. It was a bit of a struggle for the Municipal Link, Dexielyn Garingo, to introduce the idea without budget allocation. But because the beneficiaries understood the purpose of the initiative, they have shed out funds from their own pocket to kick start with their gardening.

In a 400 sq-meter land, the group decided to plant string beans, Chinese white cabbage (pechay), eggplant, okra, Malabar spinach (alugbati), water spinach (kangkong), and radish.

After a month of continuous effort and cultivation, the group had noticed the fruits of their hard work. They have harvested their produce and sold it at a low price to gain support from their neighbours. The 20.3 kilos harvested pechay were sold at 40 pesos/kilo. The string beans were sold at 5 pesos per bundle while the eggplants were priced at 20 pesos per kilo.

Their first harvest have brought them a total profit of Two Thousand Forty Seven Pesos (P2,047.00). Beyond the monetary gain, it brought them joy to know that their effort paid off. Mr. Reynaldo Corpuz, one of the members, expressed his delight to this result as it was presented to the group.

“Sa sugod ra jud diay kapoy huna-hunaon ni, pero ug magbunga na padayon na ni basta tarungon ra ug atiman (It is only difficult in theory but once it starts to flourish, everything will go smoothly with proper nurture),” Corpuz said.

Because of this result, Armanoches’ group was able to encourage all of the seven other groups in their barangay to start communal gardening as well.

5 months later, their cash-on-hand has already reached PHP 29,199.00


Beyond BIG

In January 2018, the group was informed that the area where they planted their vegetables will already be used by the land owners. Though it was unfortunate, the group did not lose hope and they immediately thought of an initiative to keep their capital rolling. They harvested all of the remaining produce, sold them, and were able to increase their capital to PHP 33,426. The group planned to look for another area for their communal gardening.

In the meantime, while they are still looking for another area for their gardening, they decided to invest in duck-raising. They were able to purchase 150 female ducks and 100 ducklings. 80 male ducks were bigheartedly given to them in support to their endeavour.

The Barangay Council provided them 50-meter fishing net to serve as fence of the duck-raising area.

The group convened and discussed about their plans for the communal gardening. They agreed that the gardening must still be continued hence they decided to contribute 100 pesos each as an additional fund for their gardening.

Luckily, a former Pantawid beneficiary, Mrs. Norvilla T. Diego, generously offered her land for the group to cultivate and re-establish their gardening.

Their new investment and their communal gardening are now in business.

They supply eggs to Talania’s compound owned by the Municipal Mayor and they also deliver eggs to barangay Kitabog balut vendors.

Currently, the group is now working on their registration as an association.