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Piñol cites young farmers

Agriculture Secretary Manny F. Piñol has cited two young Filipino college graduates for sticking it out in the country and engaging in strawberry farming he described as record-setting venture now raking in millions of pesos.

In his social media Facebook post yesterday, Piñol heralded the story of cousins Kenny Ching and Marvin Marcos who are still in their early 30s but are now reaping success in managing a 1.5-hectare strawberry farm in Mangkayan town, Benguet.

Piñol said the farm, owned by Kenny and his father, Francisco, is considered as one of the most modern agri-preneur yards in the country and was given the 2012 Gawad Saka Award for Outstanding Agricultural Endeavour.

“Unlike other strawberry farms, the John Kenny Strawberries are grown not in the open fields but in elevated plots held by long plastic receptacles supported by metal frames…Irrigation and fertilization are done by the Drip System where plastic water tubes with perforations run through the whole elevated plots,” said Piñol.

He said the farming technique has allowed the young agri-preneurs to grow more strawberries in a small area of only 1.5 hectares which produces about 15 tons of the Festival Variety of strawberry.

Sec. Piñol said the success of cousins Kenny and Marvin should inspire other young Filipinos to venture into modern agriculture ventures before or after finishing college degree, instead of seeking employment abroad and facing risks of possible abuses by foreign employers.

Piñol also assured the two farmers of his agency’s assistance in the processing of their shipment documents by the Bureau of Plant Industry to improve their production and operations. (Ali G. Macabalang)

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