Farmer Ruperto sent his kids to university with sweet corn earnings

Growing crops is about the richness of the soil and the richness of the heart for Ruperto Capoy Pabroa. The 59-year-old Filipino farmer stated it simply; “Farming is one the most noted sources of living for most Filipinos who aren’t born with silver spoons in their mouths. I strongly believe I am one of them, and farming has been and will always be my ultimate source of income.”

After marrying his wife in 1982, Pabroa began farming on a small half-hectare piece of land near Cebu City in the Philippines. He cultivated a variety of crops including sweet corn. His expansion was slow and steady, and with the growth of his farm and his family of seven children, came additional expenses.

In 2007, he faced a real financial crisis when two of his daughters were studying in college. “Funding college education is not a joke! But I had great dreams for my children, and I am perfectly aware that they have their own dreams too,” Pabroa said.

To make ends meet, Pabroa had begun to sell his sweet corn at a public market, along with offering delivery services. He upgraded from a motorcycle to a truck, enabling him to deliver larger amount of goods to his community.

“East-West Seed has been a huge part of my success,” he said. “The superior quality of the seed has helped produce a higher yield, and so there are better returns from the market.”

When 2015 came, Pabroa achieved a milestone when one of his daughters graduated with a degree in medical technology. He is now sending his remaining two children to college.

“To sum it up, I think that the financial crisis is a major problem. It’s the hardest thing about farming because without money, with zero digits in your bank account, it is almost impossible to be a successful farmer. Despite this, many farmers are able to thrive. Thumbs up to all the farmers out there,” Pabroa said.