The acidic red soil found in Salcedo, Eastern Samar posed a problem to agriculture in the area as it affects the crop growth. Because of this, residents chose to look into other job opportunities outside of agriculture.
Despite the dying profession, Teresita Belimac looked into the free farmers training conducted by SM Foundation in the area. After completing the Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Farmers’ Training Program, Teresita learned which organic materials, fertilizers and pesticides were compatible with their area’s soil type, producing a bountiful harvest by the end of the 12-week training. This inspired those who had lost hope in their lands to go back to farming.
As a way to give back, Teresita shared her learnings to the community. She converted the 1.7 hectare land she owned into a communal farm, using it to teach others on proper farm management for vegetable production. By building a simple nursery for seedlings and trellis for the vine crops, they were able to plant different varieties of corn, peanuts, watermelon, ampalaya, patola, upo and carrots.
Teresita is currently the president of the co-operative group Caga-ut Farmers Association. She sells the vegetables she grows to the local market.