What it takes to be a successful farmer? I asked Welito Mante, a 37-years-old farmer from Barangay Basag, Butuan City. Amazed by his farm, I could not reconcile how he made it so systematic to manage a diversified farm. Mr. Mante has a seven-hectare farm in which five hectares are planted with rice and the remaining two are into other crops, livestock, poultry, ornamental plants and many others.

Love For Agriculture: An Inspiring Story of Welito "Titing" Mante 1

Love for agriculture, hard work and determination are the three things he confirmed can make every farmer succeed.

At early age, Titing as he being fondly called had been helping his father in farm chores. Farming was his father’s livelihood to subsistently raise their family. It was also through farming which made him and his other siblings sent to school.

Titing graduated with the degree Bachelor of Arts in Economics in San Jose Recoletos University in Cebu City. But his learnings did not limit within his formal field of studies. He had been also interested to learn agriculture thus; he had been keen to his father’s practice in farming and attended various trainings on agriculture conducted by ATI Caraga, Department of Agricuture.

He also engrossed himself to reading some literatures regarding farming technologies and updates. In the year 1999, he was sent to a training program in Japan for young Filipino farmers for eight months and there he learned a lot in agriculture and specialized rice production and nursery development in ornamentals and plants.

Enhanced by literatures, training and practice, Titing is making everything worthwhile in this farm. Hard work and love for agriculture training is the key to continuously strive to provide better living among farmers.

Today, it is evident that Titing has improved what his father had left for them by introducing technologies he has learned through trainings conducted by the Agricultural Training Institute. He said, training without practice is useless that is why he sees to it that whatever he learned from trainings are put into practice in his farm.

Love For Agriculture: An Inspiring Story of Welito "Titing" Mante 2
Titing now is constantly earning from his rice farm in which he utilizes the rice-by-products for organic fertilizers and for feeds to his swine production projects which is now leading to small scale piggery. He also has goats, cattles and poultry. Titing also grows banana under the shade of the coconut tree.

He applies what he has learned from ATI management practices that will help control the infestation of various diseases. His farm also has a variety of fruits like pomelo, guava, mango, lansones, rambutan, papaya, calamansi, avocado and many others. He has everything in his farm like rice, meat, vegetable and fruits that primordially addresses the food sustainability program of the government.

Many farmers salute Titing for his hardwork and his determination to succeed. Today, he has become an icon in farming in Brgy. Basag. For him, you have to love agriculture in order for agriculture to love you. You have to love what you’re doing in order for you to reap bountiful results from what you have done.

by Elra A. Apatan, ati.da.gov.ph/caraga/