Tabunan, Cebu, Philippines, Philippines
Irene needed £2239.51 for her business.
Irene Ugsimar is a 30 year old teacher and married to Ariel, who is also a teacher. They both live together with their two children in the
village of Tabunan, in Cebu province. Ariel started to grow strawberries at their backyard a long time ago. He propagates them and started selling seedlings for 150 to 250 Philippine pesos each (between £2 and £3.40) depending on the plant size. He continued to produce more and was able to grow 800 strawberry plants per seedling bag. Ariel uses rotten wood and goat manure, which is a good source of
fertiliser for strawberries. In the Philippines, strawberries are commonly found in Baguio City, while in the province of Cebu,
strawberries are only found in cold places like Tabunan and Dalaguete.
The couple then decided to open an area where local and foreign tourists can enjoy picking their own strawberries fresh from the farm. They started to beautify the land behind their house where they grow the strawberries. They put up a sign to welcome and introduce guests to the place and also some designs so adults and children can take pictures. They hired workers to build the place and do all sort of things to beautify it. After five months, they opened their business to the public and earned profit by asking a minimal fee for the entrance fees (less than one dollar). They also sell strawberry fruit for 150 pesos for 20 pieces (about £2). Irene employ two regular workers who will take care of their farm especially when they are away for work. At their farm, customers can also see a wide variety of fruit trees like of lemon, watermelon, guava and banana trees.
To cover their expenses, Irene decided to request a bigger loan from Lendwithcare’s microfinance partner, Lamac Multi-Purpose Cooperative. She will use the money to build a snack bar where her customers can order things like drinks and chips while visiting her farm. After that, she will purchase things she’ll need for her bar like tables, chairs, kitchen utensils and more. Ariel is still in the process of propagating more strawberries and wants to reach 2,000 seedlings. He plans to grow strawberries directly in the ground because it can save more space than using seedling bags. The couple is happy to start a new business and slowly earn profit from it and hopefully it will continue to grow in the future. They also plan to hire more people once the snack bar is operational.
loan added: 16 April 2018
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