It is true that planting a seed is believing in a better tomorrow
Alan Regino, a dedicated potato farmer from Sitio Gappang in Barangay Alegre, Davao Del Sur, shared his inspiring success story thanks to The Universal Robina Corporation (URC) Sustainable Potato Program. With the support of the program, Alan achieved remarkable results, earning P280,000 from his first harvest in 2019 and P170,000 next year. This steady income has made a big impact on his family’s well-being.
Reflecting on the program, Alan stated, “In the past, potato production was very low, so it was not enough for our needs. The URC and the Department of Agriculture (DA) were very helpful. I made money and built a house.”
Alan’s story is just one of many success stories that have come from URC’s Sustainable Potato Program. Launched in 2018 as a complement to DA’s High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP), this initiative provides farmers with access to quality potato seeds, training, research, and development opportunities, all aimed at improving their livelihoods.
Last March, representatives from the URC and DA visited various barangays in Davao Del Sur and Bukidnon to distribute 27 metric tons of granola table potatoes to more than 200 deserving farmers who beneficiary.
Prior to this, the URC and the DA have already provided assistance to potato farmers in Benguet and Lanao Del Norte, further strengthening their commitment to support and empower local communities to field.
A bright future for potato farmers
Farmers in Davao and Bukidnon faced major challenges in growing quality potatoes and other crops before the intervention of the Sustainable Potato Program. They often encounter issues with potato seeds that are susceptible to diseases, resulting in poor yields and reduced income.
Ricky Monterde a member of the Cawayan Farmers Association in Bukidnon, promotes the remarkable development brought by quality potato seedlings. Similarly, Rex Nawasca from the Gappang Alegre Potato Farmers Association in Davao Del Sur stated, “When we received potato seeds from URC, a lot changed in our lives.” Nawasca talked about how he was able to buy a motorcycle, and his fellow farmers also got their own cars with their income from potato farming.
Another farmer from the Imbayao Community Participatory Action Research Association (ICPARA) in Bukidnon shared the positive impact of the program, saying, “I bought land and built a house and a garden where we can plant many crops.”
Even former office workers love it Noel Padrones Kapatagan Upland Farmers Association (KUFA) in Digos City turned to potato farming to improve their livelihood. Witnessing the transformation of fellow farmers, Padrones observed a better quality of life and financial growth.
Provided by Melani, a representative of the Department of Agriculture (DA), expressed his satisfaction with the Sustainable Potato Program, saying, “We are happy with the Sustainable Potato Program because we can really see how it improves the lives of farmers.” He highlighted how the program provides jobs and income for families, especially during the challenging time of the pandemic. Farmers get cars, houses, and fund their children’s education.
Aside from delivering quality products to consumers, URC’s Sustainable Potato Program continues to support Filipino farmers in providing for their families. The program is in line with URC’s commitment to become a global sustainable organization in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
As the Philippines strives to improve its agricultural sector, programs like this one play a key role in making food security and productive farming opportunities more accessible to Filipinos.