LOO, Buguias – In the heart of Loo, Buguias, Benguet, the story of Drino P. Quinisan unfolds as a testament to the transformative power of passion and education in the field of agriculture. As the President of the Buguias Japan Agricultural Trainees Association (BJATA), his journey from a board passer in Agricultural Education to a pioneer in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) exemplifies the possibilities that arise when determination meets opportunity.
Drino Quinisan’s story began with a crucial decision. After successfully passing the board exam in Agricultural Education, he chose to embark on a farming journey. As the primary provider for his family, he recognized the potential of agriculture to not only sustain them but also ignite his passion. His initial two years of farming laid the foundation for what would become a lifelong pursuit.
Fate intervened in the form of an extraordinary opportunity- a chance to spend two years farming in Japan. These years abroad became a reservoir of invaluable knowledge and techniques, shaping his perspective on agriculture. Upon returning home in 2012, he blended his newfound knowledge of Japanese farm practices with his existing enthusiasm for farming, thereby ushering in a phase of innovation and transformation.
Championing Good Agriculture Practices
As he continued his farming journey, the winds of change swept over his conventional agricultural practices. Encouraged by the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera (DA-CAR) and the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist, he delved into a series of training programs that would forever redefine his approach to farming. It was during these enlightening sessions that he discovered the concept of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).
With the similarity to the practices he had learned in Japan, he was able to easily understand what GAP is. Recognizing the significance of GAP, he embarked on a journey to attain GAP certification, a goal he achieved with the collective effort of the members of the association in 2020.
His transition from conventional farming to GAP serves as an inspiration of change. His journey underscores the importance of continuous learning and adapting to modern, sustainable approaches. By becoming GAP certified, he not only ensures the quality and safety of his produce but also contributes to the collective effort of providing consumers with nourishing food.
From Seed to Market: A Vision of Success
Within his 500 square meters of greenhouse and 1,500 square meters of open field, his dedication bore fruit in the form of a diverse array of crops. At the open field, potato, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, and celery thrive under his care. Inside the greenhouse are romaine, tomato plum, and Japanese cucumber. The yields are impressive, with romaine raking in an average of 300 kilograms per harvest from 80 square meters, depending on the weather condition. These are being brought to the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post and Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center.
Sustainable Success: Challenges Met and Conquered
His journey was not without challenges. The harshness of pest infestations and diseases loomed over his open fields, threatening his hard-earned produce. Yet, he met these challenges head-on with the knowledge gained from seminars and collaborations. As his produce flourished, it was clear that his dedication was reaping rewards.
A Future Nurtured by Collaboration
Acknowledging the essential role played by various agencies and local governments, Quinisan stands as a testament to the transformation that can be shaped through collaboration. Interventions in the form of tools, machinery like tractors, and even the sanctuary of a greenhouse, gifted him the means to amplify his efforts. As typhoons battered the region, his greenhouse stood strong, shielding his crops from nature’s wrath.
With heartfelt gratitude, he acknowledges the support of the barangay, municipal, provincial governments, and the agency. His journey is a beacon of hope for other farmers, inspiring them to embrace knowledge and innovation. He extends a warm invitation to his fellow farmers to partake in the trainings and GAP certifications offered by DA, emphasizing the importance of consistently improving their methods to ensure the production of safe, quality vegetables for the community.
Embracing Innovation in Farming
Drino’s story underscores the significance of innovation in farming. From the rudimentary Japanese hoe to the efficiency of a tractor, his evolution exemplifies how access to proper tools can drastically enhance productivity. The incorporation of a greenhouse into his farming repertoire showcases how advanced practices can mitigate the destructive impact of natural elements, ensuring a consistent yield even in the face of adversity.
Inspiring the Future
As Quinisan’s journey continues, it inspires a new generation of farmers to see beyond the ordinary and reach for innovation. His story imparts the message that a passion for farming, coupled with education and a thirst for improvement, can lead to remarkable accomplishments. Through trials and triumphs, his legacy stands as a testament to the enduring power of human determination in shaping a greener and more bountiful world.