In the mountains of Pide, Sagada, Mountain Province, Cariño P. Diosan, the owner of Kuya Cary’s Veggie Farm who exchanged his carpentry tools for a farmer’s hat, demonstrates the unexpected possibilities that arise when passion and perseverance are united.
His journey into farming began in 2009, an unexpected detour from his previous life as a furniture maker.
In the face of job restrictions, he embraced the challenge of cultivating the land, armed with little more than determination and a willingness to learn. With no prior knowledge of farming, he turned to the Sagada Municipal Agriculture’s Office for guidance, setting the stage for a transformation that would redefine not just his livelihood but the landscape of his community.
Like any adept farmer, he knew that success was rooted in knowledge.
He became involved in agriculture by going to workshops, seminars, and trainings facilitated by the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera.
These endeavors shaped his farming philosophy and set the groundwork for what would become Kuya Cary’s Veggie Farm.
The turning point came in 2022 when his dedication bore fruit in the form of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification.
This stamp of approval signified not just a milestone for his farm but a commitment to excellence in every aspect of his farming.
Armed with newfound wisdom, he embarked on a journey to apply his knowledge on the 1,600 square meters of land area under his care.
Broccoli, cauliflower, potato, beans, cabbage, red cabbage, and eggplant, a diverse tapestry of crops now thrives under his care.
Adopting GAP changed everything and greatly increased his income; it was more than just a bureaucratic formality.
The reduction in pesticide expenses translated to a 30 percent increase in profits, proving sustainable practices could be financially rewarding.
Equally crucial was the recent ease with which he could bring his produce to market.
There are established markets in Sagada and Bontoc and buyers flocked to his farm during harvest time, eliminating wastage and ensuring a direct connection between farmer and consumer.
His red cabbage found a place at the Baguio Hangar Market.
Interventions in the form of crates, shredders, multi-tillers, and greenhouses given by the DA-Cordillera changed his farming practices.
The shredder became a tool for self-sufficiency, allowing him to create his own fertilizer. The multi-tiller streamlined the cultivation process, reducing time and labor costs.
The greenhouse emerged as a savior to protect crops during rainy seasons, guaranteeing a 100 percent survival rate for his produce.
He encourages fellow farmers to embrace the transformative power of GAP.
His message is clear: Even those who don’t farm in large volumes can be assured of a market for their harvest, minimizing wastage and maximizing income. – Leny D. Mendoza