A farmer from Benguet fulfills his ultimate dream through vegetable farming
Daniel Sacley or Mang Dan, 53, has been farming for more than 35 years in Atok, Benguet. His parents are both farmers so he learned most of his skills in farming from their years of experience cultivating lands and planting rice. While his parents worked hard to sustain the family’s needs through farming, they were not able to send their children to college--this includes Mang Dan.
Because of this, Mang Dan’s ultimate dream is to make sure that his children would be able to finish college education.
He worked as a dump truck driver, but eventually returned to their family’s farm after realizing that his salary as a driver was not enough to sustain his family’s needs. Mang Dan has 6 children with his wife Sumanda.
Taking a leap to fulfill his ultimate dream
Mang Dan started as a rice farmer like his parents, but realized that he could also do vegetable farming so he can diversify his source of income.
In 1984, he planted the Kuroda EW 35 carrot variety, one of the first varieties sold by East-West Seed in the Philippines. In 1,000 square meters, he harvested around 3,500 kilos of carrots and earned more than PhP 100,000.
This gave him the confidence to try other varieties from East-West Seed. The company also extended technical assistance to Mang Dan through their Field Marketing Representatives.
“Dahil sa East West Seed, natuto ako ng crop rotation. Mula sa iisang tanim, nag-iiba na ako kada ani,” (Because of East West Seed, I learned crop rotation. From one type of crop for the whole year, I shift to other types after every harvest season), Mang Dan shared.
Recently, he planted Highlander F1 Chinese Cabbage and Chun Hong Carrots. Highlander F1 is a high-performing Chinese Cabbage variety for the highlands, while Chun Hong is an early-maturing and high-yielding carrot variety suited for mid- to high-elevation planting with high tolerance against forking and cracking.
Mang Dan added, “Nakakatuwa dahil naglalabas ang East West Seed ng quality seeds para itanim ng farmers.” (I’m glad because East West Seed released high quality seeds for farmers). These seeds grow faster and are more resistant to pests and diseases according to him.
Mang Dan's neighbor-farmers saw the quality of his harvests and because of this, he has easily encouraged them to try East-West Seed.
Armed with his traditional farming ways combined with new methods he learned from East West Seed, Mang Dan has significantly increased his yield and income. This brought him closer to his ultimate dream.
Living the dream
His eldest, Shelton, has been helping him in farming, so he is the first one to whom Mang Dan transfers his knowledge to. Like Mang Dan, Shelton also practices crop rotation now, and uses the high quality seeds from East West Seed. Because of Mang Dan’s increased income because of the higher yields in his harvest, he is able to send all his children to school.
Two have finished a degree in Agriculture and are now working in the Department of Agriculture (DA).
“Itinuturo ko rin sa kanila yung mga natutunan ko, kagaya na lamang ng magagandang kalidad ng mga seeds. Sinasabihan ko sila para naman maipasa rin nila sa ibang mga magsasaka,” (I teach my children all of what I learned, such as the use of high quality seeds. I share them this so they can transfer it to other farmers they encounter), Mang Dan said.
Judilyn, one of his daughters who works with DA, is working in several provinces in the Cordillera Administrative Region. Mang Dan shared that she has been promoting the seeds from East West Seed to other farmers so they could also become successful like his father. Now, Mang Dan is working to make sure his youngest, who is also taking up BS Agriculture, would be able to finish college education.
Aside from fulfilling his dream of sending his children to school, Mang Dan was also able to build a house and buy a car for his family. He also advanced his farming practice by putting up two greenhouses and purchasing a tractor.
With his skills and perseverance, there is no doubt that Mang Dan will continue reaching more of his dreams.