After receiving her 2-hectare farm as one of the beneficiaries of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in Toledo, Cebu in 1997, Caburnay or Nang Lilia, as she is fondly called by friends, wasted no time to make her farm productive.
What she lacked in physical strength being a frail woman, Nang Lilia used her “knowledge power” through various government-sponsored trainings and seminars she attended.
Among the government-sponsored training programs that she had attended included the “Long Season Farmers’ Field School in Banana Production,” the “Integrated Rice Technology Demonstration” and the “Trainers on Extension Delivery System for Agricultural Extension Workers and Barangay Agricultural Workers.”
These trainings and seminars helped double her harvests from her farm where various kinds of cash crops grow, like mango, banana, eggplant, calamansi and camote.
From her 600 fruit-bearing calamansi and 32 mango trees, she is earning around P24,000 annually, while gaining just as much from her other cash crops.
Her husband, Ricardo, has been attending their rice field, from which they earned P31,500 last year. She said it was made possible with the help of their cooperative, the Bulahan Canlumampao Multi-Purpose Cooperative, through its farm implements that it rents out to farmer-members. Nang Lilia is the chairman of the said cooperative.
The female farmer, however, did not stop at attending trainings and seminars and took one step further when she made her own innovations, combining newfound farming techniques with personal experiences she gained from her father, a farmer himself.
“Farming is my passion. It runs through our family. That is why I always attend seminars to enhance my farming knowledge by combining new techniques with past experiences,” she declared.
Her feat caught the attention of the government, with the Department of Agriculture citing her as an “outstanding rice farmer in Cebu” in May 2010. The mother of eight said she couldn’t ask for more, as she is happy to see her children grow through the “fruits of her labor.” Four of her children have already finished their studies. Everything, she says, was made possible through hard work and perseverance.
Jonathan L. Mayuga