YB partners with DA for
'farm entrepreneurship'

Published: June 5, 2019 08:00am | Puerto Prinsesa


Yamang Bukid Farm (YBF) has partnered with the Department of Agriculture (FA) to elevate farming and agro-tourism in the country by teaching farmers a better, science-based, alternative approach and perspective in growing crops, and by encouraging the younger generation to get more involved in agriculture.

Agriculturist Flor Ilao of the DA's Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) said the agency decided to award YB with an accreditation because of the company's desire to help the government turn farmers from regular crop growers to "farmer entrepreneurs."

DA's senior agriculturist Norberto C. Maur said the ATI and YB aim to introduce programs about new modalities in agricultural extension in which regular farmers are molded to become farm entrepreneurs and businessmen promoting not only farming but also farm tourism.

Through the YB's Training Center, farmers are also trained to shift from monoculture to diversified or integrated farming.

Hezir Rabaya, YB farm production manager, expressed delight over the accreditation that Yamang Bukid received from the ATI, saying it would allow them to train farmers throughout Palawan, and not only in the provincial capital's Barangay Bacungan where the 1.2-hectare farm is located.

Farmer-trainees get to be under the tutelage of YB Training Center's trainers and consultants who are experts in the fields of forestry, agronomy, and veterinary medicine, among others.

With a desire to spread alternative and more efficient farming techniques, YB, which started its farm with only 20 farm workers, is now home to more than 200 farmers and agriculturists. Talking about the new partnership, farmer Sonny Tesado said: "Gusto kong matuto ng ibang paraan ng pagtatanim."

However, there is a handful of farming families who do not share Tesado's enthusiasm in this fresh farming approach and DA's Maur said this is one of the challenges that YB's Training Center is hoping to address.

"It's heart-breaking to know that our farmers are starting to age. Their children who have witnessed how hard it was to farm during their time no longer want to go into farming because they have realized there is no money in farming.">

The YB Training Center aims to break that notion and lure people back into farming.

YB agriculturist Fernan Hubo said Yamang Bukid aims to instil among their farm workers a "sense of joy" in their work, and emphasize to the next generation — who have otherwise grown skeptic about farming — that plenty of opportunities in agriculture abound.



"There is money, plenty of money in farming... There is dignity and money," Hubo said.

"Since we now have an accredited learning site, we will be able to encourage more people to take agriculture and become farmers that follow scientific practices," he added. — YB

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Life-changing
tales at YB farm community

  • GMA Network host Drew Arellano recently traveled to Puerto Princesa, Palawan to visit the Yamang Bukid Farm in Barangay Bacungan for an episode of his travel show "Biyahe ni Drew."

    Aside from marveling at the property's all-natural farming methods and wide selection of produce, the TV host was given a peek at the life-changing stories of YB's farm workers.

    Yamang Bukid only used to have 20 farmers but eventually tapped around 200 former illegal loggers and helped them mend their ways by introducing them to an alternative, stable, and sustainable source of income through crop and poultry farming, as well as agro-tourism.

    One such farmer was Ronnel Espino, who told Drew how Yamang Bukid not only helped his family financially but also — and more importantly — trained him and his fellow farmers how to do agribusiness with a heart, having a reoriented mindset to protect the environment.

    But Drew's trip to the Yamang Bukid Farm would, of course, not be complete without him trying out the farm's all-natural produce — from healthy pasalubong options to meals made form ingredients freshly picked from the plantation.

    Watch Drew help himself with one of Yamang Bukid's most popular treats, "sumbulo" or suman (rice cake) sa "bulo" or kawayan (bamboo). — YB
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Bees buzz at YB farm,
pollinators’ new home

  • Originally meant as a turmeric plantation, the Yamang Bukid Farm in Puerto Princesa, Palawan eventually diversified into a garden of assorted crops and flowering plants —in the process attracting a healthy mix of birds, tree-dwelling animals, and critters like butterflies and bees to the 1.2-hectare property.

    This sparked the idea to venture into apiculture or beekeeping.

    In March a team led by Dr. Cleofas Cervancia, professor emeritus at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, visited the farm and realized that its existing bee-friendly plants could be a perfect breeding ground for 12 colonies of experimental stingless bees or kiot (Tetragonal biroi).

    The scientists wanted to know if the Yamang Bukid Farm could sustain colonies of nature's greatest pollinators, the population of which were slashed by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. The experts were not disappointed. In just two months, the bee yard was yielding positive results.

    In May alone, a single bee chamber was able to produce 250 grams of honey, which according to YB agriculturist Liza Jean Yocte was a "big indicator that the environment here can sustain bees."

    Dr. Cervancia gave her seal of approval: "We evaluated the performance of the previous colonies and it was good. That's why we are positive that the project will prosper."

    The apian expert said with indicators all pointing to the right direction, they are now ready to expand their bee project, as more and more people — from municipal officers to young entrepreneurs — begin to take interest in bee farming. — YB
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Yamang Bukid Farm, DA-ATI partner in helping Palawan hog-raisers

  • PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—A farm tourism destination in this city is offering free artificial insemination services as part of its commitment to help backyard piggeries in communities in Palawan.

    One of the swines at Yamang Bukid Farm-Palawan wallows inside its pen. The farm tourism destination is partnering with the Department of Agriculture---Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) to provide free artificial insemination services to community in and outside Puerto Princesa City.

    Yamang bukid Farm, a 20-hectare farming attraction in Barangay Bacungan has partnered with the Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan (Mimaropa) for the Artificial Insemination in the Barangay program in the island-province.

    According to Cristina Gonda-Magnaye, ATI-Mimaropa high valued commercial crops program (HVCCP) focal person, the package is worth P300, 000 consisting of AI laboratory equipment from the department.

    Artificial insemination kit is turned over by DA-ATI Mimaropa personnel Cristina Magnaye and Alma Mae Manalo to Yamang Bukid Farm in Quezon City recently. The farm tourism destination in Puerto Princesa is partnering with DA-ATI to provide free artificial insemination services to swine raisers in and outside Puerto Princesa.

    “Yamang Bukid (Farm) was chosen after it was able to comply with the necessary requirements,” Magnaye said, adding the Farm will give as counterpart the venue and technical personnel for the free use of the AI equipment by the public.

    The turnover ceremony of the equipment was done in the Quezon City of YBFP’s parent company, health and wellness beverage maker Yamang Bukid Healthy Products Inc. recently, with DA-ATI represented by Magnaye and Alma Mae Manalo, livestock program focal person.

    Dr. Glen Calipus, a University of the Philippnes-Los Banos (UPLB)-educated veterinary and molecular biology expert and Yamang Bukid Farm consultant, represented the farm tourism destination.

    Magnaye said the AI facility at Yamang Bukid is one of two such projects for the region this year, with the other one housed in a private-run farm in Mindoro.

    “We want to have more of these facilities in Mimaropa so more hog raisers can avail of these,” Magnaye said.

    Aside from the pieces of equipment, the technology package also included two heads of high quality breed of boars as source of genetic material (ejaculate).

    Known for its well-manicured flower and vegetable gardens and an unending bloom of sunflowers, the farm tourism draw is also into sustainable and organic way of growing plants and vegetables and is among the biodiversity havens in Palawan farm tourism industry.

    (Juan Lim)
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