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A journey onwards

 

A resident of Kinalay Viejo, Malinao, Aklan, Alfredo Irarum is one of the 33 beneficiaries of the Kabuhayan para sa Magulang ng Batang Manggagawa (KaSaMa), a project aimed at providing livelihood assistance to parents of child laborers to assist them in sending these children back to school for quality education.

 

He was previously employed as a company guard for ten years in Manila earning Php10,000.00 monthly. Due to the onslaught of Typhoon Milenyo in 2006 which affected the company’s operation, he decided to resign and go back to his hometown in Malinao, Aklan. 

 

Being jobless, his family encountered a lot of difficulties like sending his two children to school, and providing clothing and shelter for his family, among others. Confronted with these challenges, Alfredo thought of ways to earn additional income.  He capitalized on his indigenous knowledge and practical skills in integrated farming system and considered the availability of local resources as the life blood of his initiative. These natural resources include abundant water supply for the whole year coming from a river, rich and fertile soil, and favorable agro-climatic condition.

 

Farm production through crop, livestock and fruit trees integration was his ultimate goal to achieve sustainable income while preserving the ecological balance of the area. He also gave importance on the utilization of farm wastes and other bio-mass as organic fertilizers, while setting-up of a vermi-composting to augment the fertilizer requirement of his farm. Although farming is labor intensive by nature, he did not quit, and through his persistence and diligence he was able to generate a total income of P109,688.00 for three years of continuous farming.

 

This income generation project he humbly started from a working capital of P10,000.00 was concentrated on swine breeding and has been rolled-over for three furrowing cycles to the present. Out of the said income came a multiplier effect in the realization of other farm ventures such as cattle fattening (2 heads), raising of native chicken, peanut and sweet potato production alongside citrus integration, while hedgerows and boundaries are planted with banana and other fruit trees. The most notable and rewarding part of his being an ordinary farmer is that he was able to rent a new farm nearby and employed three part-time women laborers on the field.

 

The simple joys of Alfredo depict his gallantry to outdo poverty against all odds. For Alfredo, embracing the passion for farming is his life - an inspiration which resulted to a huge difference in his journey from a very unfortunate fate to a path full of positive promises.

           

Alfredo's story is an example of a life tested by poverty and challenges. This did not hinder him from fulfilling his dreams, but led him to continue his journey, moving forward.

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2018-02-27
Dir. Ca┼łete
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