Spending his more than 25 years of introducing mango production technologies to farmers as a salesman of mango chemical companies, Mr. Mario Garcia of Brgy. Taloy, San Carlos City Pangasinan found his new passion in mango enterprising with his extensive knowledge and experiences in mango growing, spraying, contracting, trading and now, exporting.

Indeed, an inspiration to his fellow growers of mango in San Carlos, he is the epitome of a successful farmer.

Mr. Garcia’s passion in mango enterprise started in 1990. Upon his graduation in college, he loaned out P20,000 from a bank and used this as capital. While working as a salesman of chemicals, he also is into mango spraying and contracting at some mango plantations in San Carlos for additional income.

However, seeing the big potential of mango enterprise as a lucrative business, he eventually resigned from the chemical company he is working with to focus on mango growing, contracting and trading.

Today, all his efforts paid-off as he is now one of the constant supplier of raw materials to a mango processing plant in Cavite and some private companies that exports mango to countries like Hong Kong and Singapore.

With his determination and hard work, the P20,000 he has invested as capital has turned into seven-digit income today, thus adding more of his savings as well as investments on real estate while providing good education for his five children.

Just like any other business enterprise, mango business has its ups and downs. Two of the major setbacks that he encountered are strong typhoons that commonly hit Ilocos Region and the attack of cecid fly in his plantations and to mango areas of farmers he has contracted into.

The Department of Agriculture has played a great role in helping him overcome these challenges in his mango enterprise.

Through the High Value Crops Development Program, Mg Mario and fellow farmers who are members of the United Mango and High Value Crops Agriculture Cooperative and were then affected with the two phenomenon has received production inputs as well as technical assistance – an aid that is timely given.

By giving free fertilizers like urea, potassium (0-0-60) and complete fertilizer (14-14-14), foliar fertilizer like the calcium nitrate and some pesticides, the mango growers association members where he belongs were able to cope up with the negative impact of pest and typhoon.

“Napakalaking tulong sa aming pagmamangga na makatanggap ng mga ganitong assistance para makabawi kami sa pagkalugi namin ng almost seven years dahil sa cecid fly,” says Mg. Mario.

Aside from cecid fly and natural phenomenon like the strong typhoons that affect mango production, the oversupply of mango during peak season is also a challenge for Mg Mario and his fellow mango growers.

But with the presence of the exporters with whom he had contact with, including owners of processing plants that he dealt with that are both ready to accommodate his and his fellow farmers produce, they are able to overcome such challenges of overproduction.

In fact, on the later part of January this year, a total of 30-40 tons of mango per day is being accommodated by these processing plants and exporters from Manila. Although at some point, prices of mango gradually declines ranging from P55 a kilo down to P37 a kilo.

For this reason, he asked for the assistance of the Department of Agriculture in formulating a policy on price control on mango to minimize its negative impact on the profit of the mango growers. Considering the high expenses that they incur in mango production, from spraying potassium nitrate, fertilizer and other pesticide applications, including fruit bagging; Mg Mario proposes for a price control on mango just as what the DA has done to its rice and corn commodities.

“Sa aking estimate, pumapatak na gumagastos kami ng P20 sa bawat kilo na napoproduce namin na manga. Kaya nararapat lamang na sa aming pagbebenta, hindi dapat bababa sa P30 ang presyo kada kilo,” Mr. Garcia said.

Despite these challenges that Mg. Mario meets along the way, he refuses to be daunted. His strong determination and compassion to his fellow growers who are depending on him for support kept him going.

To date, there are a total of 50 workers depending on him who are directly and indirectly involved in his mango business.

Asked if he will sometime stop pursuing the business because of the many challenges that he is facing along the way, Mr. Garcia’s figting spirit is never shaken, saying, “Kasi ito ang alam naming negosyo na makakatulong sa amin. Kung hihinto kami sa aming ginagawa, maraming mawawalan ng hanapbuhay na umaasa lamang sa pagmamangga. So basta kumita ng kaunti, tuloy pa rin ang negosyo hanggat may puno ng manga.”
Giving advice to those individuals who wanted to venture in mango enterprises, Mr. Garcia advised them to learn the nitty-gritty of the business before diving into it because it entails a large amount of capital.

“Basta masipag ka lang at maging positibo sa lahat ng oras., Itong problema ng cecid fly, estimate ko, 2-3 years from now, mawawala na ito. Bumababa na ang damage ngayon e. Unlike before na 80-90 percent ang damage, ngayon, 30-60 percent na lang ang nakikita kong damage,” Mr. Garcia said as he remains hopeful and positive of a good future in mango production.

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