I am Edna Bacquiano. My nickname is Tata and I'm 36 years old.
Our farm is 5 hectares and is located in Purok 3, Balingaing, Tugbok, Davao City.
I became part of the FarmerLink program last October 2016 and I started receiving text messages the following month in November.
The best message I've received is a reminder about pests.
The next one is on savings where I was taught how to save for my children's school fees.
The message said that I still have time to save for my child's enrollment.
I've tried to save several times before but always end up spending the money so I am thankful for the text FarmerLink sent me. With the SMS reminder, I was encouraged to set aside savings once again.
In fact, when I needed money for my children's schooling I had something to spend.
It's important that there are regular reminders for farmers because we can't absorb everything after just one discussion or training.
Last May 19, I got a text message that said "Good day. When was the last time you used salt to fertilize your coconut?"
The message goes on with a recommendation to apply two kilos of salt per year per tree and that this can increase the weight of the coconut and can lead to higher selling prices and income.
For me, this is an encouragement.
So if you ignored this message and didn't do anything, your income will remain low.
Every time I receive a text, I read and reread it. It is part of my routine and it serves as a reminder.
If it is possible, I'd like to get a text every day.
Edna lives with her husband and two children and owns a farm jointly with her brother. Farmers often do not receive timely agricultural support because of the difficulty and cost of reaching them. Grameen Foundation and partners developed FarmerLink to simultaneously link Filipino coconut farmers--60 percent of whom live in poverty---to an early warning system, vital agricultural training, financial services and market buyers.
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