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Pleasure Farming Need Not Be Profitable

In 2016, Carol, the all-around assistant of Milagros Yee, was carried away in ordering 2,000 papaya seedlings and 1960 hot pepper seedlings which they planted in Mrs. Yee’s farm in Lipa City.

From left: Mrs. Mila Yee and Carol posing with fruitful papaya; The bumper crop of hot pepper was overwhelming but the price was so low, it was not profitable at all; and Mrs. Yee with fruitful lime tree whose fruits make refreshing juice drink

From left: Mrs. Mila Yee and Carol posing with fruitful papaya; The bumper crop of hot pepper was overwhelming but the price was so low, it was
not profitable at all; and Mrs. Yee with fruitful lime tree whose fruits make refreshing juice drink

Yee is a businesswoman who retired from her business at 80 to go into what she calls Pleasure Farming. She is now 88 and going strong in growing various crops. Of course, it is with the help of her all-around assistant.

After all, she was out there farming not to make extra money but to enjoy doing something fulfilling and productive.

The papaya trees were so healthy and fruitful while the production of hot pepper was really overwhelming. They had to hire pickers every few days at R10 per kilo. Every time they harvested they would get a few hundred kilos of red hot peppers. The trouble was that the price of chili in the market was so low at R40 per kilo. It was unlike the previous year when the price was R800 per kilo.

At any rate, the R40 per kilo price was just a wee bit above breakeven point and not exactly a losing proposition.

The bumper crop of hot pepper was not profitable but it was real fun for Yee. After all, she was out there farming not to make extra money but to enjoy doing something fulfilling and productive. As her son who had taken over the business had told her, she should not worry about spending money on her farming as long as that made her happy. After all, the business she started is doing great up to this day.

Like many other chili farmers, Yee did not plant chili in 2017. That was why there was a very low supply in 2018. That year, the price per kilo soared to about a thousand pesos per kilo but then they did not have any chili to sell. It was an experience she remembers with a chuckle.

In her 2.7-hectare farm, she still grows a lot of papayas but now has less than a thousand trees. She has 300 beautifully growing guyabano trees that are expected to start fruiting soon. She also has a very fruitful lime tree whose fruits make a refreshing juice drink.

One favorite is the Blue Ternate whose violet flowers are made into a tea drink with claimed medicinal attributes. The original plant was a gift from Sister Eppie Brasil, founder of Regina Rosarii Institute for Contemplation in Asia based in Tanay, Rizal. She and Carol are now multiplying the plant.

Of course Pleasure Farming need not be a losing proposition. It could be profitable too.



Source: Manila Bulletin

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