An accounting graduate from Consolacion town left his accounting profession for farming.
All along AvelinoBihag, 60, knew he cannot finance the studies of his children in college if he stuck to his job in a construction company.
He began working for the company in 1982 with only P8,000 as monthly salary. The tuition fees of his two children ranges around P50,000 per semester.
“Hayahay man didto. Si nirkadidtogud, pero among income diharajudkutob (I was comfortable there. People call you sir at the office, but your income is fixed),” he said.
When his father died in 1997, he decided to leave his work and continue his father’s work as a farmer. He said it was never easy because you have to work early but he said there is comfort after harvest.
In 2004, the farmer-scientist training program (FSTP) was introduced by its founder Dr. Romulo Davide with the support of then municipal Mayor Avelino Gungob.
Bihag’s farm is around five (5) hectares consisting of different lots. After learning 12 different trials from FSTP, Bihag immediately noticed the increase in his farm harvest.
In one cropping he earned almost P50,000 in his young corn for every hectare every 65 to 75 days.
Normally, in one year, there are three (3) cropping seasons.
For his eggplant, he also earned P200,000 per hectare in a year. Aside from corn and eggplant, sponge gourd, white squash, red pepper, and string beans were also abundant in his farm before.
“Mao to gisultiannakos Dr. Davide nga doc hulogjudkaslangitnamong mag-uumakayangubannga mag-uumanisunod man sad kaynakahibawnamansila sa resulta, (This is why I told Dr. Davide that he is heaven-sent to farmers especially now that others are joining the FSTP program after seeing the results gained by their fellow farmers),” he said.
He shared that the most significant help he got from FSTP is the population density trial. It is a trial where comparisons are made over the results of planting three (3) or more corn seeds in a single hill against one or two seeds per hill.
He also praised the FSTP for encouraging the government to build infrastructure to support farm production especially farm-to-market roads. He recalled that their biggest problem is how to transport their products to the town proper because there is no road.
“Maayoganironkaynaa nay habal-habal,” he stated.
It is FSTP’s mantra to force farmers to get rich by providing them fertilizers, seeds, market and road.
Bihag is now one of the model farmer-scientists in the province. He was elected as barangay official in Barangay Pulpogan for several years.
In an FSTP graduation in Consolacion last last Month, Bihag appreciated the 12 young generation of farmers who attended the FSTP.
He told them that they have more years than him to take advantage of what they have learned from the program. Bihag learned farming technologies from FSTP when he was already close to 50 years old.
Bihag’s first and second child had finished their studies last 2009 and 2012, respectively. His third child is in college now and the youngest is still an 8th grader.
His wife is also an accounting graduate and currently works in the barangay.