INVEST IN FARMING. Jumer Bueno Marcaida, 27, says family farming saved them some good money. Instead of buying, they grow their own rice and sell part of their harvest for extra income. (PNA photo by Christine Cudis)

MANILA — Filipino families can secure their food consumption without spending over their budget through farming, an expert said Thursday.

“Let us make the nation realize what they can have from family farming, it adds to family resilience, and contributes to national security,” Venarica Papa, Assistant Professor of the College of Social Work and Community Development at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, said in a three-day forum dubbed “Knowledge Learning Market and Policy Engagement” (KLMPE) in Quezon City.

Filipino families can withstand the increasing buying price of food in the market and save if they grow their own food, Papa said.

“It is a good thing to learn how to plant or grow our own food so we will never go hungry,” she added.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) hosted KLMPE 2019, which aims to enhance the awareness of farmers and other people who thrive in the field of agriculture through networking with experts and successful entrepreneurs.

Among them is 27-year-old Jumer Bueno Marcaida, who just became a full-time farmer in 2017.

“My father toils a 0.6-hectare land and we plant the crops we need for personal consumption,” he said.

Marcaida said he observed how their expenses became smaller after they started to seriously take their farming business.

“My sister, who has a family of her own now, would provide for the financial needs on the farm, and she will have her sacks of rice. Obviously, rice is expensive, so, having our own resource of rice, the family really saved a lot,” he added.

Other than growing white rice, the staple food in the country, Marcaida said his family also plants black glutinous rice to sell in the market.

“We also take advantage of the market for people, many looks for sticky rice, so we grow and sell it to add to our income,” he added.

Marcaida also said being a member of a farmers’ organization helped him when he was shifting to farming from his former job as an electrician.

“I really want to do a lot of improvements in the farm, start selling our goods with our own brand, and PAKISAMA mobilize that vision for me,” Marcaida said.

Marcaida said PAKISAMA has its own cooperative where members can apply for a loan.