NICASIO Engallado, a rice farmer, is an advocate of ecologically sound farming in Tongantongan, Valencia City, Bukidnon. Together with his wife Fatima, they started the company called Engallado’s Nature Farm and Natural Food Products in August 1997.
The company’s focus is on the production of organic rice and its by-products. To obtain more know-how in their field, the company underwent a series of intensive training on Sustainable Agriculture by the Sustainable Agriculture Center of Xavier University (SAC-XU), College of Agriculture, Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, Cagayan de Oro City.
In fact, recently, the Department of Agriculture gave an award to Engallado as the National Organic Rice Achiever. The farm’s main product is organically grown rice, which is sold commercially to local consumers at a reasonable price. Engallado’s Nature Farm and Natural Food Products offer homemade delicacies using the farm’s own organically grown rice as the main ingredient.
Soon, the company’s natural food products gained recognition from health conscious consumers. One of their products (barquirice) in fact bagged the best delicacy award during the various food fair contests held in the cities of Malaybalay and Valencia.
As recalled by Engallado, in the past year of operation, it took them one day to process manually 45 packs (6 pieces per pack) of one product. The various seminars and fora attended by the owners motivated them to compete with other pasalubong products, to be efficient in the company’s operation, and be a significant part of the food processing industry.
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) became involved in Engallado’s business through the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP). Through the program, the company received a number of DOST interventions, including provision of food grade equipment, process improvement, and provision of packaging and labeling programs (product development).
With SETUP, the company was able to produce, aside from barquillos, rice quiron (pulvorice) and rice buttons (cookies), new products such as cuacoy (steamed rice), sara-sara (roasted rice), meringue, and piaya. The shift from manual to semi-mechanized production pushed the company’s daily production from 45 packs to 150 packs of barquirice, from 96 packs to 200 packs of pulvorice, and from 30 packs to 80 packs of sara-sara. The company’s product sales rose to P1.5 million from P262,430 the previous year after the upgrade of its facilities.
The company is not only for generating profit but also for provision of employment to relatives as workers, both in the farm and in the production site. Part of the couple’s dream is for people to not just buy products, but to buy the products for the benefits they offer.
With DOST’s technology intervention and the company’s hard work, the dream is slowly becoming a reality for Engallado’s Nature Farm and Natural Food Products.
DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY