Binongan tribe member combats poverty through farming – Manila Bulletin

As a direct descendant of the primary inhabitants of Abra within the Cordillera Administrative Region, Charles B. Herrero has all the time appreciated the great thing about his hometown. Whenever he visits, he totally enjoys the abundance of bushes, cool local weather, contemporary air, and fascinating surroundings. 

He additionally marvels on the folks within the space and the way they preserve their tradition alive. Herrero can also be a Tinggian from the Binongan Tribe. Although he’s pleased with his roots, he can’t deny that poverty has prevented his folks from main higher lives. 

“My city is promising, the lands are huge and a realization simply known as me that maybe beginning an business rooted in agriculture might be the important thing in serving to them have a greater life. Agriculture grew to become my mission for my tribe,” Herrero stated. 

Even although he has a legislation diploma, Herrero determined to pursue a profession as a full-time farmer and agripreneur. 

In 2016, he established Herrero Farms and commenced his mission by rising salad greens. He later shifted into scorching pepper manufacturing after closing some partnerships with producers of scorching sauces in Manila.

Charles B. Herrero began his farm by rising salad greens.

The Abra native shares that he realized the fundamentals of farming through books, Youtube, Google, mentors, and sensible software of all of the theories till he was in a position to develop methodologies himself. 

Mixing pure options with expertise 

Herrero Farms presently grows three industrial crops, particularly, native siling labuyo, papaya, and rosemary herbs. 

“I additionally develop pinakbet greens for household consumption resembling tomatoes, eggplants, upo, sigarilyas, ampalaya, and siling haba. If I’ve an oversupply, I promote them across the space. I additionally produce other herbs resembling basil and lemongrass that I combine into my concentrated juices,” Herrero stated. 

According to Herrero, all of his farm websites are drip irrigated. He selected this methodology as a result of it saves a number of water and is much less taxing for his farmers as a result of all they should do is change the system on.

The farm is drip irrigated to make the farmers’ job simpler.

He makes use of a base manure fertilizer that comes from chickens, goats, and rabbits. He additionally applies pure inputs resembling EM-1, fish emulsion, and different natural foliar fertilizers. 

Native labuyo is Herrero’s most prolific crop. His document harvest was 350 kilos per week and a one-hectare farm can earn P50,000 to P70,000. Sadly, the farm suffered two consecutive wipeouts from typhoons in 2017 and 2018. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hindered the farm’s restoration and progress due to journey restrictions and costly protocols.

Native siling labuyo is the farm’s most worthwhile crop.

Overcoming excessive climate with rosemary 

Extreme climate poses the commonest risk amongst farmers. Herrero himself skilled typhoons destroying his crops. He was stunned to see that the rosemary he planted between a few of his crops didn’t die regardless of the heavy rains and powerful winds. As a consequence, he began researching what he can do with these herbs. 

Herrero began his rosemary from cuttings. He later transferred them into the sector after 50 to 60 days as seedlings.

Herrero’s rosemary backyard.

“I assist jumpstart with manure from hen, rabbit, or goat, relying on what’s presently obtainable. I make it some extent that they’re irrigated thrice per week. I give them manure each two months. Rosemary doesn’t want pesticides,” he stated. 

The Abra native added that since he’s all the time searching for methods to develop crops with out utilizing pesticides, intercropping rosemary herbs together with his crops offered a pure and sensible answer. 

Value-adding his farm merchandise 

Aside from utilizing rosemaries as a pure pesticide, Herrero additionally discovered them to be worthwhile. 

“Farming can evolve. Other than simply planting, harvesting, and promoting the merchandise as is, I’m now having fun with changing my uncooked supplies into extra helpful value-added merchandise for magnificence, wellness, and meals. I really feel ecstatic each time I hear my merchandise are working in response to their goal,” he stated. 

He makes use of herbs to create merchandise for skincare, haircare, important oils, and concentrated juices. The extracts are acquired through a course of known as hydro steam distillation the place water (steam) serves as an extraction solvent to get better unstable parts of plant supplies.

Rosemary from the farm are used to create merchandise for skincare, haircare, important oils, and concentrated juices

The skincare mist is created from rosemary and papaya. Herrero claims it heals the pores and skin from nearly every kind of pores and skin issues, restores youthful look, and removes or lessens nice traces and wrinkles. The haircare mist solely makes use of rosemary as the primary ingredient. This product, in response to Herrero, prevents hair fall and removes dandruff. It may also stimulate hair progress.

Herrero can also be producing rosemary important oil that can be utilized for aromatherapy or combined with meals and drinks for added aroma and taste, in addition to concentrated Juices from rosemary, basil, and lemongrass hydrosols that are presently being examined for folks with situations and in response to a number of scientific suggestions

Some of the well being advantages of rosemary embrace aiding weight reduction, enhancing reminiscence, relieving ache, and extra.

Some of the well being advantages of rosemary embrace aiding weight reduction, enhancing reminiscence, relieving ache, and extra.

Rosemary can also be stated to stop most cancers and inhibit the event of COVID-19 amongst shoppers. 

Why establishing a market is vital 

According to Herrero, farming could be very dangerous, particularly when accomplished in an space that has excessive and unpredictable climate. But there’s a manner for them to thrive as he did: by figuring out a goal market. 

“My recommendation to those that are dreaming or wish to have a farm is that they need to examine their goal market and discuss to them first earlier than participating in any other case they are going to be spending so much with studying curves,” he stated. 

Herrero added making a sustainable value will even assist a farm develop. 

“It doesn’t should be too excessive or too low. You simply have to have a margin on a regular basis. Otherwise, your cash will simply get burned in farming. Therefore, one ought to attempt to safe and develop a working relationship with a purchaser, at the very least one, and increase for extra afterward,” he stated. 

Lastly, he advises farmers to have religion and perseverance as a result of farming doesn’t all the time bear optimistic outcomes. 

Because of his love for nature and his ethnic neighborhood, Herrero established a farm to meet his mission of assuaging the folks in his province from poverty. But his compassion isn’t restricted to his Binongan tribe. Herrero additionally grows crops naturally to advertise a more healthy way of life and develops rosemary-based merchandise to offer shoppers with a pure various to drugs. 

For extra info, go to Herrero Farms on Facebook. 

Photos courtesy of Charles B. Herrero 

Read extra about farming and gardening on



Recommended For You

About the Author: Jessica