Outstanding coco farmer hails from San Jorge, Samar
By Ninfa B. Quirante
CATBALOGAN, SAMAR (1 September) -- Gil Doroja, 42, from Brgy. Erenas, San Jorge, Samar is this year’s regional coconut farmer awardee,
According to Roy Floretes, Senior Agriculturist of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) who nominated Doroja, the Samareño bested one Candido Sombilon of Baybay, Leyte.
Floretes added that the nominating committee of PCA has observed Doroja since 2004 and that it has proven that Doroja is fit to be adjudged the Best Coconut Farmer.
Ironically though, Doroja has studied Automotive and was initially passionate about opening a motor shop, but this passion ebbed when he discovered that in farming one deligent farmer can earn as much as a motorshop owner.
Although Doroja resides in Erenas, his 5-hectare farm is found in inland San Juan, a 20-minute boat ride from Erenas.
The 5-hectare farm is divided into a 3-hectare coconut plantation intercropped with ampalaya and squash; 1.8 hectare of rice farm and .2 hectare as open area. PCA employees noted that Doroja is always open to suggestions on how best to manage his farm of coconut and other crops. Floretes told PIA that the farmer is known to have earned some 200,000 gross in th year 2005. He markets his ampalaya and squash to Catarman and Calbayog City where he earns a significant income enough to send all seven children to school.
With his income, he was able to sustain the ducation of his first-born who graduated Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation (BSMT) in Manila. Another child is studying agriculture at the Samar State College of Agriculture and Forestry (SSCAF). The same child assists the father in the farm.
Doroja also employed at least four other people during copra production and re-planting of rice. Floretes said that one of the criteria is that the farmer is able to generate jobs for his neighbors.
Though Doroja inherited the farm, he does not discount the fact that a farmer who has even less area could also qualify to be recognized like him. When PCA texted the guy, he was simply glad and looked up to the heavens in supplication to the Lord whom he acknowledged as his Creator. No, he does not yearn for a reward, the recognition for him is enough.
But whether Doroja is given an award or not, he will remain a farmer as a tribute to his father whose land he inherited. He feels that one way of honoring his father’s memory is to strive hard so that his ancestors’ land would be fruitful and feed their children. (PIA-Samar) [top]