Agriculture is one of the most important sectors in the Philippine economy since the country has rich land and natural resources; hence, farming has been the main industry.
Angel Perez, 52 and a farmer from Sta. Lucia, Dolores, Quezon, was chosen to be the first president of Atimoya Farmers Association Inc., a group of local farmers assisted by the government. LGUs of Quezon and CALABARZON region supported the association and provided free land, seeds, and trucks for harvesting. Since 2017, Angel has been responsible for overseeing the 363 members who own individual and communal farms.
He has shown exemplary leadership in handling farmers with his expertise, in which he said he willingly and voluntarily does.
“If there are things that I can do for my co-members, I initiate it for them as a help”, he said.
According to him, a financial institution has helped him in expanding his farm which is why for six years, he stayed as a loyal client of CARD Bank.
He used his loans directly as additional capital for his farm during planting season and was able to acquire more seeds and plant more crops.
Moreover, he said that he survived the coronavirus pandemic which broke out in 2020 through CARD’s financial help. With his loans, he planted crops to meet his needs and earned extra money by supplying veggies to other areas and provinces.
Currently, Angel gives away free rice crops from his harvests to his neighbors as a way to share his blessings. He also intends to build a Kadiwa shop where farmers can sell their produced crops. He does all these good works to support the agriculture industry and give back to his community in any way he can.
“Agriculture is very important. If there are no farmers, Filipinos will no longer have something on their table,” Angel said.
“The decreasing number of agricultural workers is shaking our country. I’m hopeful that the next generation will continue farming and will view it as a decent job rather than looking down on our hard working farmers,” he added.