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Gerry Viloria’s mountain farm

March 24, 2010

Agri Plain Talk

By ZAC B. SARIAN

March 19, 2010, 1:51pm

Gerardo Viloria, 75, is a lawyer who was a provincial board member of La Union for many years until his last term in 2007. All through the years he has been obsessed in farming as well as in reforestation not only in his own farm but also in the entire province.

While he resides in Balaoan, his farm is situated up in the mountain of Lettac Norte, Santol town. The farm that can only be accessed by means of a 4×4 pickup truck has been a big challenge for the lawyer-farmer to develop. It’s no mean task to develop a farm with a mountainous terrain that could only be reached by hiking when Atty. Viloria started to develop it in 1993.

His main goal was to reforest the whole property of 14.5 hectares which was bought on a staggered basis, costing no more than P500,000. What’s good is that there is a spring that serves as source of his water requirements.

So far, he has planted about 5,000 mahogany trees, the oldest being about 16 years old. Some of them are already harvestable but so far he has harvested just a few for his own use.

Later, he incorporated fruit trees in his farm so that he could also produce food for the table, if not for sale. Magallanes pummelo is one fruit tree that he is very proud of. Last year, the trees gave him a bumper harvest which he sold to friends and government employees at a very low price. He packed the fruits about 30 pieces per sack and sold the same for only P1,000. That’s just over P30 per fruit!

The same variety is being sold in Manila at P120 to P140 per kilo.

He has already planted 350 pummelos, including the small ones. But he is still continuing and will plant some more. Other fruit trees that he has planted in his farm are 200 mango trees that are already of bearing age, rambutan, jackfruit and others.

Another food crop that he has incorporated in his farming is rice. He has been growing a lot of upland rice which gives him a good yield, especially when fertilized with Durabloom fertilizer.

Virginia tobacco is another crop that Atty. Viloria grows in his mountain farm. It is also a money maker for him. He grows quality leaves because he applies the right fertilizers. He explains that he does not apply 14-14-14 complete fertilizer on tobacco because this is chlorine-based and this affects the burning quality of the leaves. Instead, he uses a special formulation together with bio-organic  fertilizer.

Hybrid vegetables have also become money-makers for the lawyer-farmer. In 2007, he started planting Galaxy ampalaya, Dalisay upo and Hercules patola. These have given him bumper crops that he sold for a good price in the market. His record shows that his 600 ampalaya plants in 2007 had grossed him P33,710. His upo and patola have also been equally profitable.

Aside from crops, Viloria also raises pigs, cattle, goats and chicken.

While he has retired as a public official, Atty Viloria continues to serve as consultant to the province on agriculture. And he continues his advocacy in planting more forest trees in the watershed areas of La Union.

http://mb.com.ph/articles/248477/gerry-viloria-s-mountain-farm

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