Sagunto’s Rolly Benosa was featured in a Manila Bulletin article by Zac B. Sarian in an iterview during the Techno Forum and Agri-Kapihan at the Harbest Training Center in Carmen, Rosales, Pangasinan earlier this year. Here is an excerpt from the article:
We interviewed Rolly Benosa in front of the jampacked audience. We wanted him to tell his experience in growing Cherry Tomato in his farm in Sison, Pangasinan. As we have earlier written in a previous column, Cherry Tomato is a profitable crop to grow in Taiwan.
Cherry Tomato is a little known crop in the Philippines. Not many farmers are planting this variety and it is not commonly served at home and in restaurants, except in a few upscale hotels. Rolly plants the Amber variety which is bright red like grapes. He sells his harvest at P80 per kilo even if the ordinary tomato variety is selling at only P30 or P40 per kilo. Rolly says that the price can even go up to more than a hundred pesos per kilo, especially when it is retailed.
While Rolly says that it is profitable to grow Cherry Tomato, he cautions that before one gets into this business, he should study very well the cultural requirements of this kind of tomato. Cherry tomato, he said, was introduced to him by Harbest Agribusiness which distributes Known-You seeds in the Philippines and conducts training for interested vegetable growers. Most Cherry Tomato varieties grow tall because they are indeterminate. So they have to be trellised.
Rolly emphasizes that different varieties have different adaptability as to the season of planting. So one has to be familiar with the right time of planting for every variety. Rolly advised the attendees to attend every available seminar and training on vegetable production because there are always new things to be learned. He has already attended three training sessions conducted by Harbest Agribusiness.
Rolly has been planting 500 square meters to Cherry Tomato but he is expected to expand the area because one of his buyers is said to be needing about 800 kilos per week. Actually, there are five of them in Sison who are planting Cherry Tomato today.
Aside from Cherry Tomato, Rolly grows Japanese cucumber. This is a variety with long slender fruits. He sells his harvest to a buyer in Baguio. This cucumber is well liked by Japanese and Korean buyers who make them into pickles that they serve in their restaurants.
Visit Rolly Benosa’s website for more information about ordering these beautiful cherry tomatoes. Or if you’re in Sagunto, drop by at his farm!