Greg de los Trinos (left) and Crisper Garcia pose with drip line supplied by Greg which has saved a big amount for the 22-hectare Dragonfruit Philippines Inc.
A 22-hectare dragon fruit farm in Angeles City saved a big amount during the last summer months, thanks to an affordable drip irrigation system supplied by Greg de los Trinos who was helped by the Department of Agriculture to develop his drip system.
According to Crisper Garcia who manages the Dragonfruit Philippines Inc. (DPI), said that before the drip system was installed in the entire farm, the company spent a fortune manually watering the 40,000 dragon fruit posts. They needed 57 farm workers to water the plants manually in one day because one worker can only water about 700 postes and he is paid a P350 daily wage.
Crisper Garcia and dragon fruit as far as the eyes can see in Angeles City.
Crisper Garcia (4th from left) with visitors from left: Harold Hazel Larete, Michael Batayola and Danton Pajarillaga of Zetryl Chem Phils., Zac B. Sarian and Greg de los Trinos.
The cost of the drip system, according to Garcia, is just the equivalent of one month’s wages of the manual waterers. And the drip system can last for at least five years.
With the drip system, the plants are watered more uniformly and adequately. With sufficient watering, the fruits could become bigger and with better quality. This year, 2018, Garcia said they expect to harvest at least 500 tons of fruits.
The dragon fruit chips being developed by DPI is very nice to eat – chewy and with the right sweetness. Everything is natural – no sugar addes.
The management of the farm does not only look at supplying the market with fresh fruits. They are developing other products that include dragon fruit chips. The product is under development but it has great potentials. The chips are all natural – no sugar added. The slices are simply dried to a desired moisture content. So far, the chips are very nice to eat, chewy and with the right sweetness. If produced commercially and packed attractively, the product could become a bestseller. Excess fruit production that cannot be absorbed by the fresh fruit matket could be processed for added value.–ZBS