Tuesday, January 10, 2023 - 11:12




Success Starts from Failure

“The more I fail, the more I get stronger,” said Rodolfo Marquez, owner of Marquez Integrated Farm and Learning Center located in Diffun, Quirino. He is one of the innovative Learning Site for Agriculture (LSA) cooperators in region 2.
Farming is already a routine for Rodolfo. It was one happy day that someone asked him where does he work and he said, “I work in PNB—Palaging Nasa Bangkag” which means, “always in the field”.



Rodolfo is a retired government employee working as extension worker for 39 years. Extension work has always been his passion. After his retirement, he decided to develop his farm.  With his desire to continue what he is passionate about which is to share knowledge in agriculture endeavor, Rodolfo became more motivated to apply as LSA. Fortunately, in 2018, Rodolfo’s farm was certified as a learning site by the Agricultural Training Institute-Regional Training Center 2.
Venturing on diversified farming is what made Rodolfo succeed in his endeavor. Diversified farming has also helped him to adapt to climate change. 
“Farming has become my daily exercise,” Rodolfo expressed in an interview.

Being a farmer takes a lot of effort and innovative ideas that will contribute to the success in agricultural farming. This was proven by Rodolfo as a hands-on farmer. He also said that a farmer by theory is different from a farmer in action. To him, a lot of things can be learned and discovered in the field.

“It is important as a farmer to innovate the existing technologies by doing research,” he added.

Being LSA cooperator is challenging for Marquez. Along his way as a cooperator, he encountered difficult questions from farmers which led him to explore, make his own discovery, and also updated his knowledge. He said that truly, learning is a continuous process.


In Diffun, Quirino, according to Rodolfo, corn and rice cropping season is synchronous. Most of the farmers in his area practice mono cropping. This is why, as an LSA cooperator, Rodolfo recommends to practice integrated or diversified farming so that the farmers will learn to maximize their time, potential and land area. This recommendation is based from Rodolfo’s own experience. Before, he also practiced mono cropping. From there, he realized the risks especially when there is calamity. In his experience in mono cropping, he had no fall back after his corn production has been damaged.

When Marquez became a learning site cooperator, he practiced diversified farming wherein he integrated his corn and rice production with companion crop such as banana which he first tried to plant. He chose banana because it can easily grow and flourish. However, it can be damaged easily by typhoon and so, he decided to plant fruit trees like coconut, rambutan, lansones and mangosteen. In his two-hectare gently rolling land area, Rodolfo is planning to establish a multi-story landscape of his fruit commodities with banana as its main product.

In 2021, Rodolfo had around 200 heads of ducks. Venturing on duck production was also an opportunity for Rodolfo to make salted eggs and sold it in the local market. In every batch of 50 ducks, Rodolfo can harvest more than 150 eggs. At present, he is planning to expand it.
More so, he also tried to endeavor on small ruminants but he failed due to climatic condition. Nevertheless, it did not stop him from trying again. Meanwhile, he is raising 6 heads of goat for production.

“You cannot avoid failure but the good thing is, I never surrender. If I surrender, I’ll lose,” Rodolfo said with good hope.

During the surge of COVID-19 pandemic, Rodolfo apprehended the advantage of integrated farming. He learned the value of agricultural farming where food is the most essential need of a person to survive. He was fortunate that during the pandemic, his vegetable production was a success. Rodolfo was able to have superfluous vegetable produce. Fifty percent of his produce go to the local market while the other 50% is for their consumption in which, he also shares with his neighborhood. It is also in those times that he supported a community pantry that became a trend during the pandemic.

He supplied the community pantry with vegetables such as squash and okra. With his own little way, Rodolfo felt fulfilled that he was able to help other people especially in his own community. 

“Success doesn’t only count how much money you earned from something; it’s the fulfillment of helping others that counts.”


Sustaining his farm, Rodolfo never stopped discovering thing that will help him improve his farming practices and strategies. Based on his practice before, Marquez used to apply fertilizer in his rice production twice. He tried to side dress his rice, then split the fertilizer application from two to three applications. This practice of Rodolfo in his farm is based on the recommendations of the soil analysis.
To his surprise, the effect of applying fertilizer in his rice production thrice is much better compared to applying it twice. In his own analysis as a veteran farmer, applying fertilizer thrice can minimize the infestation of pests on rice. Rodolfo even likened humans to rice. If humans are fed twice, tendency is, they will be overfed for a while then eventually get hungry. In his observation, the same situation will happen to rice. 
Although, fertilizer application for three times would cost him much for labor, he testified that the labor cost paid-off because his yield increased.

“Ang point ko sa pag-apply ng fertilizer ng tatlong beses, yung efficiency ng abono ay mas effective dahil nasusustain niya ito. Parang kumain siya ng tatlong beses sa isang araw. Hindi tulad kung dalawang beses lang ang application lalo na sa top dressing, saka side dressing, eh yung nitrogen madaling mawala,” Rodolfo supposed.

With Rodolfo’s curiosity and eagerness to discover new practice, he was able to share it with other farmers. Driven as extension worker, Rodolfo stressed that introducing package of technologies to farmers is crucial. He cited fertilizer application as an example. Even if the fertilizer that a farmer applied is complete if the land preparation is a failure, definitely, corn or even rice production will fail. He then highlighted that a better result starts from a good foundation.

“Dapat package talaga. Yun ang palagi kong sinasabi. Hindi pwedeng isa lang ang pagbuhusan mo.  Kagaya ng sinasabi ko, kahit kumpleto yung abono na nilagay mo kung hindi maganda ang land preparation mo, yung fertilizer efficiency, mababa. Kaya sayang lang yung pera lalo na mahal na ngayon ang abono.”

Alfredo Agapito, resident of Zamora, Quirino is just one of the farmers who adopted the technology of Marquez. He has been farming for 30 years now. Before, his habitual application of fertilizer is twice only. When he attended the Farmers Field School at Marquez Integrated Farm and Learning Center, he learned about the staggered fertilizer application. Alfredo was never hesitant to try it in his rice production because he has seen improvement from Rodolfo’s yield. In fact, he immediately practiced it in his almost four-hectare rice production. In the recent cropping season, Alfredo’s harvest has increased from 10 to 15 percent. Also, in his observation upon applying fertilizer thrice, there were only few undeveloped rice grains compared before when he applied twice. Aside from staggered fertilizer application, Alfredo also learned about the good practices of Rodolfo to include weed and water management.

As an extension worker and a farmer, Marquez also showed his support to farmers saying, “Kahit anong pananim, yung package of technology ang dapat na mai-apply para makuha natin yung potential yield at mai-angat natin ang corn at rice production na hindi lugi ang mga magsasaka. Importante na kahit papaano, kumikita tayo sa ating endeavor.”
Rodolfo expressed his gratitude to the Agricultural Training Institute-Regional Training Center 2 as its partner in delivering extension services.

“Very timely na mayroon tayong endeavor na ganito dahil at least yung mga extension services ay naipapaabot na natin ng malapitan sa mga tao at walang katapusan na extension service,” he uttered.

“In my own simple way, I am trying my best to help our extension workers reach out to more farmers,” these were the words of compassion of Rodolfo Marquez as a show of support to the extension workers recognizing their efforts. He is also challenging his fellow farmers to share their inputs in the existing technologies and try to discover more to achieve, ‘Masaganang Ani, Mataas na Kita’.

Marquez is always open to provide technical assistance to his fellow farmers. And to those farmers who are willing to learn from Rodolfo, he is always willing to make himself available at the “PNB—Palaging Nasa Bangkag”. He then would like to advice the farmers, “never be afraid to fail because failure will lead you to success.”

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