GINGER: A Wealthy Spice of Life

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Created on Monday, 30 May 2016 Published Date

Long before or even during the time of various foreign colonialism, Ginger, was already popular as medicinal and culinary item for Southeast Asians. It is also undeniably one of the most commonly used spices in Philippine cuisine. Seemingly ordinary, right? But what makes it a stand-out among other spices is its great profitability; and a ginger-farmer named Cristito “Tony” Davis is living in the lap of luxury because of ginger.

57-year old Mang Tony hails from Brgy. Binulho, Javier, Leyte, and is into farming for 25 years now. Even before the downpour of DA’s assistance and the implementation of the “Convergence Initiative Project” in his hometown, he has already been into ginger production. His love for farming was further strengthened due to DA’s support under the High-Value Crops Development Program, which provides technical expertise and knowledge to flourish the plantation of ginger in his municipality.

Mang Tony isn’t just a one trick pony. He is also a Magsasakang Siyentista of Agriculture Training Institute (ATI) and the President of the Binulho Agri-Ventures Farmers Association (BAVEFA) in his locality where he practices and lends his technical assistance to other farmers in their community.

With his Midas touch in agriculture, he was able to make both ends meet for his three grown-up children. His eldest daughter, Sheila Mae, graduated college with a degree in Banking and Finance, and now currently working in Pepsi Cola Corporation in Tanauan, Leyte. The second, Dave Lue, is working in Andoks Corporation (a fast-food chain) as a Technician. Raquel, the youngest, is a graduate of agriculture in one of the premier agriculture universities in Region 8 - Visayas State University, and now helping him tend their growing farming business. Also, Mang Tony was able to establish a “sari-sari store”, buy lots, and a house for his family. “My love for agriculture and in ginger farming has paved the way to where I am now,” Mang Tony humbly said.

It is no wonder the success he is savoring, because, of the 500 kg of ginger seedlings he plants in his 3,000 square meter land, he can easily harvest a whopping 5,000 kg of ginger. The market for his harvest on the other hand, is a cinch because he supplies part of the ginger requirement of the Instant Salabat Production Center in their locality, and even in malls and restaurants in Tacloban and Ormoc city. With his network of outlets, he astonishingly earns a net income of P238,000 within 7-8 months, out of his  total ginger production.

However, while at the peak of his performance as a successful farmer, Super Typhoon Yolanda came and brought his farm operation back to zero. But, the Department of Agriculture immediately extended its helping hands and assisted in rehabilitating the highly devastated places, including Javier, Leyte.

“The DA gave us assorted vegetable seedlings, such as eggplant, squash, mango, cacao, banana, and of course my most favorite, ginger,” he jestingly cooed.

The DA quickly almost instantaneously conducted trainings and distributed various farm tools and machineries. Not long enough, the recovery phase of Mang Tony’s ginger farm rolled fast and eventually regained its footing.

With all the blessings he got, he shares and pays back his blessings to the community by imparting knowledge and technical assistance to farmers in order to have a prosperous ginger production in the whole municipality of Javier.

Surely, the taste of ginger might not be too pleasing for most of us, but the taste of success that this spicy-tangy herb brings, truly transformed Mang Tony’s once bland life into a flavorful and exquisite one. What a wealthy spice of life, indeed!  (KEVIN G. BIOL, Administrative Aide IV, FRANCISCO C. ROSAROSO, Chief, IPAD)

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