Like most of the locals from the southern town of Narra, Krysland Domingo came from a family of farmers in Brgy. Elvita. At a young age, he was exposed to the challenges of farming and agriculture. When his father chose to leave their farm to look for greener pastures, he decided to take over to help their family get by.
With a cow left for him to tend to, he started dreaming of developing their farm. He believed that with enough capital and opportunities, agriculture could lead them to a comfortable life.
Struggling to get his dreams off the ground, he decided to take up computer science, hoping to land himself in-demand jobs to fuel his dream farm, all while juggling his studies and farm duties.
And then the pandemic hit and Krysland thought it was the end of it until he was introduced to the Department of Agriculture’s Young Farmers Challenge (YFC) Start-Up, a competitive financial grant assistance program for the youth who engages in agri-fishery enterprises.
“Bata pa lang talaga kami nagbabakahan na po pero backyard lang po siya,” he shared to Palawan News. He thought of developing their farm into a dairy farm which he pitched to the competition.
“Sinubukan ko po siyang ipropose sa YFC tapos nagustuhan po nila yung proposal ko,” he said.
Krysland was hailed as the Provincial Young Farmers Challenge Awardee, topping 18 other proposals in the province.
With P100,000 grant and some technical assistance from the national and local government agencies, Krysland’s Buffalo Integrated Farm has taken a full swing last February.
To date, his farm has grown with 8 cattles that produces 20 liters of fresh milk twice a week now available in the market as “Baka Naman”.
He partnered with local coffee shops in Narra to sell his products which earned patronage among locals despite their unstable production.
Aware of the challenges ahead of him, Krysland plans to strengthen their products with what they have before expanding his venture.
“Sa ngayon po kasi yung mga baka namin ay hindi sila dairy cows talaga,” he lamented. Yet he continues to improve his product by finding ways to extend its shelf life.
Now available in regular, strawberry and chocolate variant, Krysland is also developing new products like ice cream and mozzarella cheese.
“Inaayos pa po namin bago ilabas sa market para quality po talaga yung mga products,” he said.
Currently, the Buffalo Integrated Farm remains to be a family ran business with his siblings helping him out with the production and marketing.
He plans to expand this business with the other members of the community and by sharing his experiences and acquired knowledge especially with the youth.
“Ang liit ng tingin nila (mga kabataan) sa agriculture pero ngayon unti-unti na ring nagbabago,” he said.
He also said that a lot of older farmers would often discourage him.
“May mga nagsasabi na hindi basta-basta ang agriculture. Hindi para sa bata at walang puhunan,” he said.
But this did not dishearten him to pursue his dreams.
“Bilang kabataang magsasaka, ibibigay ko ang lahat ng aking makakaya para makatulong sa sector ng agrikultura pangunahin sa larangan ng gatasan sa ating bansa,” he said.
“Patuloy ko pong hiihikayatin ang mga tulad kong kabataan na mahalin ang agrikultura at hindi hadlang kung anumang larangan ang tinatatahak nila ngayon. Narito lang po ang agrikultura. Itaas natin ang uri ng magsasaka at pagsasaka sa ating bansa,” he vowed.