By: Erwin S. Embuscado
Corporate Communications Department
Alalay Sa Kaunlaran Inc. (ASKI) Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija
Satoshi Tateno, president and CEO of Sunnybing International Trading Corporation believes that there is a future for the ginger industry and the ginger farmers by providing them the technical know-how and assuring them of a stable market for their produce.
Rice and ginger farmers in Aurora will no longer have to worry about the marketing of their harvests. This is because the Alalay Sa Kaunlaran Inc. or ASKI, a non-government organization based in Nueva Ecija through the ASKI Multi-purpose Cooperative (AMPC) will directly buy the farmers produce to be supplied to rice retailers in Nueva Ecija and nearby provinces and a ginger exporter in Japan.
Janet Supnet, 35 years old from Brgy. North Poblacion, Dipaculao, Aurora is one of the beneficiaries of the value chain program for agriculture of ASKI. Aside from providing her financial need for her farming activities, and irrigation facilities, Janet was also linked to AMPC and sold her harvest.
Janet and her husband, Elfreitz owns a four hectare rice farm and harvests around 90-100 bags per hectare. The 70 percent of their harvests are sold either at AMPC or local market in Aurora. They are earning approximately P280,000 every harvest season.
“Being a farmer for 10 years now, having AMPC as a direct buyer for our produce is beneficial for farmers like us because of an assured market. They also follow the existing buying market price,” said Janet.
Like many farmers in the country, Janet and her fellow rice farmers in her hometown were also confronted by different farming challenges like insect infestation, frequent typhoons, and lack of irrigation facilities especially during summer season.
To address their problem in lack of water supply, Janet and the other members in her community benefitted from the mobile water pump given by ASKI through Opportunity International-Deutschland. This is one of the many benefits they get from being a loyal client of the ASKI microfinance program. The irrigation system helped them in watering their rice farms which enabled to them to get good profit and plant three times a year.
Because of the couple’s success in farming, Janet and Elfreitz are now supporting 40 hectares of rice farms in Dipaculao in terms of farm inputs and other needs during land preparation. They were also able to invest into farm machines like hand tractor and thresher and bought tricycles and owner.
Aside from farming, the couple plans to engage into buy and sell of coconut and purchase a delivery truck.
Like Janet, Maximino Maslag, 60 and a farmer-at-heart of Brgy. Kadayacan, Maria Aurora, Aurora is also one of the beneficiaries of the value chain program of ASKI. He is into ginger production.
“I started planting ginger when I was 20 years old. Now, I am 60 years old so it’s been 40 years since I started planting native ginger. When we are harvesting, we do not have buyers. We sell it to the market and anywhere else every week,” Maximino said.
In a traditional farming, Maximino used to wait for a year before harvesting ginger. This is why he was glad when he learned that AMPC partnered with Sunnybing International Trading Corporation (SITC), a Japanese exporter of ginger. With the partnership, farmers in his village can already sell their harvests in three to four months, processed it and supplied to sushi restaurants in Japan
“I planted about 1,000 Hawaiian ginger seedlings. It’s nearing four months so I am just waiting for the instruction of the buyer to harvest my ginger. That’s what I like in this project, there is a sure buyer so income is guaranteed. Before, we plant a lot of native ginger but it is usually sold in cheap price. We do not earn from ginger because they usually buy it for P10-P20 per kilo,” Maximino added.
Satoshi Tateno, president and CEO of SITC said that he is bringing experts to the field to ensure that farmers will grow ginger properly including technology for processing of ginger.
“How to succeed in terms of technical development is very important. We have already
showed the technology and we will keep on teaching all the farmers. We are also
developing our own technician to support each farmers in every areas. That’s a very
good support and one of the ways to promote technical development. I am bringing the
technology on how to grow and the marketing (fixed market) aspect. I need steady
supply. When we share our things together maybe we shall succeed,” Tateno said.
Tateno also ensure that the business will flourish in the next five or ten years because of the big market demand. Thus, he is looking for more potential ginger farmers in the countryside to augment their income.
Meanwhile, Jasper Santos, general manager of AMPC said that the partnership will give additional income to the ginger farmers. This was also sealed because of the farmer’s capacity to produce ginger and their long experience in the farming.
“We have high expectations to our farmers to increase their ginger production as we provide them market and other support. AMPC’s major role in the project is to ensure the production of ginger because we entered an agreement with Sunnybing. We act as consolidator. We are dealing with Sunnybing with regard to marketing while we handle the collection and payment of the produce of the farmers on time so that using their income, they can start planting again after their harvest,” said Santos.
AMPC also plans to expand the production in other areas to benefit more farmers. “We also like to extend our support for ginger production to non-clients or to other farmers in Casiguran and Maria Aurora and eventually to farmers from Carranglan, Nueva Ecija and Nueva Vizcaya because ginger has a big market,” Santos ended. (Click picture below to enlarge)
Janet Supnet enjoys the benefits from being a ASKI client. She owns a 4-hectare rice farm in Dipaculao, Aurora
Maximino Maslag is one of the many farmers in Aurora who joined the ASKI value chain program for ginger.
Danilo Carino, technician of Sunnybing International Trading Josephine Colle from San Ildefonso,
Corporation inspects the ginger harvested by farmers in Aurora Casiguran, Aurora shows her harvested ginger
The ginger are processed into “atsara” and supplied to sushi restaurants in Japan
Through her farming venture, coupled with sheer hard work Janet was able to build their own house.