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Recycling farmer wins nat’l awards

/ 08:24 AM June 20, 2011

A 24-year-old of Siquijor Island received the 2010 National Outstanding Young Farmer Award from President Benigno Aquino III in simple rites at Malacañang last May 23

What made him shine among the rest of his brothers of the soil were his full dedication, patience and sacrifice. With his family as a strong support system, Elnard S. Ympal proved that farming is indeed a viable source of income.

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Elnard is the third child in a brood of nine to a farmer/carpenter father, Epegenio and housewife Narcisa.

He finished a two-year vocational course as Agricultural Technician at the Lazi National Agricultural School, Lazi, Siquijor under the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) in 2005 and settled in a small barangay in Candura, San Juan, Siquijor.

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Elnard wanted to study in college but instead availed of a Tesda short-term scholarship grant.

He planted corn and vegetables on his family’s 1.2 hectare farm with an initial capital of P500.

On the same year, he joined the 4H Club and was elected as Provincial Federated President.

He considered 2006 a lucky year since he won honors as Provincial and Regional Outstanding Young Farmer and Regional Champion of the 4H Cooking Demonstration for the tilapia-based category.

The year also marked the birth of their WOWHA 4H Club in Cansayang, San Juan, Siquijor where he became the President.

What made his farm unique was his use of recycled plastic empty soft drink bottles and nylon tire for his modified drip irrigation and fruit fly trap–this innovation earned him the 2010 National Outstanding Young Farmer.

He came out with the innovation due to the scarcity in water supply owing to his uphill farm.  Part of his innovation is his native trellis of string beans, cucumber and ampalaya (bitter melon) where he used organic matter as fertilizer.

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Elnard invested much time and effort to his farm, eventually expanding to poultry and livestock.

He first won as National Outstanding Young Farmer in 2007 and he was awarded in Malacañang by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Elnard repeated in 2010, first winning Regional Outstanding Young Farmer award, Outstanding Farmer Scientist in the Province of Siquijor award and then the National Outstanding Award as Young Farmer.

Elnard is thankful to the Department of Agriculture in Central Visayas (DA-7) and the provincial government of Siquijor which granted half a million pesos plus a hand tractor and tiller as well as the Provincial and Municipal Agriculture Office of Siquijor and the Agricultural Training Institute-RTC 7.

Elnard said he wants to challenge the province’s youths to earn a living by farming which provides their residents and neighbors with food.

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TAGS: Awards and Prizes, Elnard S. Ympal, farming
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