By Jethro B. Dagunan
Carlos Hilado Memorial State College (CHMSC)
Regional Applied Communications Group
“There is no unproductive soil, only unproductive farmer”—so goes the famous statement by Ramon Peñalosa, Jr., Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) of the Farmers Information and Technology Services (FITS) Center based at the Negros Occidental’s Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA).
For the nth time, MS Ramon Peñalosa promoted this during Regional Techno Gabay Summit and TechnoMart hosted by the Western Visayas Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (WESVARRDEC) on May 25 and 26, 2011 at the Amigo Plaza Mall in Iloilo City.
Though not a graduate of agriculture, MS Ramon Peñalosa has become a successful agri-preneur engaged in integrated organic farming system. MS Ramon Peñalosa develops his technologies of production, bringing organic and agricultural products not only from-the-farm-to-the-market but also from-the-farm-to-the-table. In doing so, MS Peñalosa optimizes his farming enterprise.
An inspiring and eloquent speaker, MS Peñalosa talks about his farming technology and practices with passion and generously shares to the public his innovations based on his personal experiences.
Another Magsasaka Siyentista of note is Rebecca Tubongbanua of the FITS Center OPA Guimaras. Tubongbanua’s mango processing technology adds more value to the sweet Guimaras mango. Starting on a small capital in 2003, Rebecca Tubongbanua continued her enterprise until she was able to obtain help from WESVARRDEC government agency. Her product is now exported in other countries. Now a popular brand in Guimaras, McNester has since gained ground in the Philippine market and abroad owing to the growing demand for dried mangoes.
MS Rebecca Tubongbanua and MS Ramon Peñalosa (see photos) share their success stories to the WESVARRDEC audience. Their products were exhibited by the Bureau of Plant Industry - National Mango Research Development Center and Carlos Hilado Memorial State College (CHMSC), their respective member agencies during the first WESVARRDEC Technomart held at the Amigo Plaza Mall in Iloilo City recently.
MS Tubongbanua and MS Peñalosa have many things in common: first they started their ventures on a small capital and on trial and error. Second, they gathered information from many sources and experts to improve their technologies. Third, they passionately do what they are doing. Both farmer scientists are also generous and willing to share their technologies and experiences to others they willingly seek help from government agencies especially from WESVARRDEC. And above all, both experts attribute their success to their strong faith in God.