Emie Estialbo is a 25-year-old hydroponic lettuce grower from Capiz. After losing her teaching job during the pandemic, Estiablo tried her hand at hydroponic farming. She earned 50,000 pesos in capital from the Ministry of Agriculture’s competitive Kabataang Agribiz grant, which she used to start her farm, Hydroponically-Grown Lettuce (HGL).
READ: Former teacher becomes her region’s first hydroponic lettuce grower
Even though HGL is not located near a city or a market, its products constantly sell out because Estiablo uses social media as a way to sell its products. She offers three tips for success:
Involve your customers in your farming adventure. “Always update [your followers] about what you do on the farm,” says Estialbo in Tagalog. Customers are more likely to buy products from farmers they know and are invested in. Make sure all photos in your feed look good.
Post about collaborations and good comments. Customers love to see behind the scenes. Post who you collaborate with to leverage your followers. Also post (with permission) the good feedback you’ve received from customers. Not only will this help potential customers decide to buy from you, but your current customers will also feel good because they can help you grow your business.
Do not abandon. This doesn’t just apply to social media marketing, but it’s extremely important. “Farming is really difficult at first,” says Estialbo, adding that it is not a livelihood that is encouraged. “A lot of young people tend to get discouraged when no one wants to help them.” But she adds that if you want to succeed as a farmer, you have to persevere, often alone. “But there will come a time when people will want to help you… especially when you [become] succeeded,” she said. “Don’t lose hope because one day you will reap, you will win, and all the hardships you have been through will be rewarded.”
Photo courtesy of Emie Estialbo
Learn more about agriculture and gardening at agriculture.com.ph
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