ACES Nature Farm, an organic farm in Panabo City, takes on the initiative of growing crops and farm animals in an organic way to help the farmers, and to protect the environment and the consumers.
Francisco dela Peña, organic farmer and owner of Aces, started out with agricultural farming with bangus growing. When he realized that only the feed maker is making greater income than the farmers, he spent time and enough money to do research which he did in his one-hectare land in Brgy. San Francisco, Panabo City.
In his research, he found out ways in producing his own feeds for his animals and crops without using synthetic fertilizers.
After a few years of research, he moved his farm to a three-hectare land just a few meters away. Aces Nature Farm has since been producing organic lettuce, red tilapia, vermicast, organic chicken, and hogs among others.
Dela Peña also said the current cost of his feeds for chickens, goats, and pigs are at P4 to P5 per kilo only which is a lot cheaper than the commercial, synthetic feeds which are currently between P25 to P28 per kilo.
In an attempt to share his knowledge to his fellow farmers, his farm now has Aces Natural Farming Institute which conducts Organic Agriculture Production NC II training for interested farmers in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda).
“When the farm input is expensive, sometimes the sales of farm production is lesser than the input of the farm, you will experience shortfall. But using organic system, you’re going to produce your own farm input. Naturally, if you’re going to teach the farmers and they can see that it can be done, they will really push through,” said dela Peña adding they make sure that their farmer-participants benefit and can generate income after the trainings.
Aside from better income, organic farming, dela Peña said, has also great advantage and help for the environment and the consumers.
“Much of the technologies we’re teaching to the farmers are based on conventional agriculture. Many are using the synthetic fertilizers, some use pesticides, and all these harmful synthetic inputs in the farm.
Supposedly, we should protect nature. The only way we can protect nature, especially the water, is to go organic. If you’re going to spray organic, when the rain comes, it will go with the water down the soil and it will reach the water table. Now, if the water table will be contaminated, and we are going to drink the water, what will happen to us?” he said.
Dela Peña also shared how his farm uses used oil brushed generously on the surface of bottled water and hung in their ampalaya plantation vine arches to attract small flies causing them to stick to the used oil.
Through this, dela Peña said the use of synthetic insecticides, which are very much harmful to the environment and to their crops, is avoided.
More than producing organic crops and growing agricultural animals in organic ways, dela Peña also has an organic restaurant in his farm where most of the ingredients in the menu are taken from his farm. It was in 2015 when they first announced the construction of the Aces Organic Restaurant.
The restaurant serves organic humba, lettuce salad, blue organic rice, tilapia, kinilaw, and fresh fruits such as watermelon and pineapple.