Engineer Goes From Ofw To Successful Hybrid Rice Farmer
Agriculture|August 2017

A TONDO-BORN electrical engineer who was an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) for two decades in Saudi Arabia and Japan is now a successful businessman with a 36-hectare hybrid rice farm.

Having been raised in a relatively crowded barangay of Manila, Tondo, Danilo Bolos, 58, never really knew anything about farming as a kid. “I’m not a farmer’s son,” he said. But after he married Glenda Jacinto, who is from Cabanatuan City, he was enticed to plant palay when he “…saw my wife’s cousins from Sta. Rosa, Nueva Ecija thrive in their livelihood from farming. I never really dreamt [of being] rich…I just wanted to have three hectares of land where I [could] plant and a bahay kubo (wooden hut) where I could enjoy a simple life,” he said.

Initially, he grew registered inbred seeds, which were then the highest yielding type of rice prior to 2000, when there were no hybrid rice varieties in the market. He bought foundation seeds from Philrice (Philippine Rice Research Institute) and grew those seeds for his own family’s use on a three hectare plot which he owned. For twenty years, the plot was always planted with the inbred seeds.

He was content with his earnings until he was introduced to a Department of Agriculture (DA) program that taught farmers to grow hybrid rice seeds. Bolos was challenged, and vowed to to take farming more seriously, attending many seminars given by the government on hybrid rice farming. He soon realized that farming couldn’t just be a hobby for him. “… [It] should be studied very seriously and must be considered as a fulltime job.”

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