Software engineers establish farm to earn profit and foster food security



Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp


For former Singapore-based software engineers Jeffrey Manalo and Micah Aniceto-Manalo, La Granja de Ceres farm is a chance to start a career that will allow them to stay in their beloved homeland. With this in mind, a couple named Jeffrey Manalo and Micah AnicetoManalo opted to start their own farm in January of 2018 with hopes of improving Philippine agriculture to foster national food security. "[Our] primary purpose is to improve the lives of our fanners and to promote agritourism through raising livestock, growing high value crops and fruit trees, as well as involving the community in farming," said Jeffrey Manalo, the farm owner of La Granja de Ceres. Prior to the farm's establishment, the couple worked as software engineers in Singapore for almost eight years. They named the farm La Granja de Ceres after the Roman goddess of agriculture, grain, and fertility. The farm's name is in Spanish and directly translates to "The Farm of Ceres." It occupies five hectares ofland in Sitio Maligtong, Barangay San Jose, Tuy, Batangas. FROM CROPS TO LIVESTOCK Presently, the farm grows chilies, eggplant, okra, three varieties of com: white, purple, and yellow, cassava, and sweet potato. Chilies are the farm's main produce since they manage to harvest around 15 to 20 kilos of the crop every week. They then sell it to the market for P80 per kilo.