Candon farmer vies for highest DA award
By Freddie G. Lazaro
CANDON CITY (24 April) -- A multi-awarded coconut grower from this city was chosen as one of the contenders for 2006 national search for GAWAD SAKA Outstanding Coconut Farmer, sponsored by the Department of Agriculture.
Members of the screening committee will evaluate the qualifications of nominees to the contest.
Coconut farmer Jose Pajarillo, who was now in his second time as national contender of the said award, was strongly determined to win the most coveted farmer's award.
His first attempt to the national search for the outstanding GAWAD SAKA award was in 2003 but he was failed. He was adjudged as Ilocos region's most outstanding coconut farmer on 2003, 2004 and 2006.
"With the blessings of the Lord, I'm expecting that I have a better chance to win the award this time," Pajarillo told.
Pajarillo, 70, of Villarica, Candon City owns a 4.5 hectares of coconut farm, on which he fully maximized the yield and earn a high annual income.
He applied the coconut intercropping system technology, in which the 2.5 hectares from the total area of his farm were planted with coconut intercropped with mangos, banana, and tomatoes. While, the other 2 hectares, which were open area, were utilized for planting with rice, corn, and a space for his livestock production like goats, swine and chicken. At present, he has about 200 mature coconut trees that bear fruits.
"I just maximized the available space of my coconut farm for planting other crops and for raising farm animals," Pajarillo said.
Pajarillo started as copra producer in 1960s, where his production was sold in Pangasinan. In 1976, his two-hectare lot was then used as a one of the pilot farms for the hybrid coconut planting project in Ilocos Sur.
Subsequently, he was also a recipient of the Small Coconut Development Project Rehabilitation Program and Replanting Program and the free Life Insurance Program for coconut farmers.
Through his religious application of the recommended cultural practices, his hybrid coconuts were able to bear fruits after fourth years of planting, which too much faster to produce fruits than the native coconuts that usually bear fruits after seven to ten years of planting.
As a result, he was able to earn P760,303.50 last year by selling his produced such as matured nuts, buko, the coconut leaves and seedlings, rice, yellow corn, tomato, banana, mango and livestock like swine, goat, native chicken, sasso and geese.
With his annual income from coconut farm, he was sent his children into reputable institutions and was also able to acquire more lands and other properties. (PIA Ilocos Sur) [top]