Keeping the memory alive:
GROWING AND PROCESSING SUPER HOT CHILIES
Growing different varieties of chilies was initially a hobby for George Allen M. Callora of Davao City. But when he and his wife were blessed with a baby boy with spina bifida, Callora converted this hobby into a business in order to support his son’s medication. He quit his job as a call center agent after witnessing the multiple opportunities in chili farming and processing.
All for Nesta
Callora made different kinds of chili products like Nesta’s Chili Garlic Paste and Nesta’s Mango Habanero Hot Sauce. He also sold—and is still selling—seeds and seedlings of super hot chilies like Carolina Reaper, red habanero, Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Chocolate, and yellow habanero.
He then partnered with friends who own farm lots because he did not have his own. These friends also believed in his vision of and passion for growing super hot chilies, mass producing them, and stabilizing the supply of raw materials.
About a year and three months later, tragedy struck Callora’s family as he lost his son. Although grieving, Callora, along with his wife and friends, continued working on the business. Even though his son is already in Heaven, he thought, his name Nesta will continue to live through the venture.
Callora learned about the Young Farmers Challenge Fund (YFCF) Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the PTV channel. He attended the orientations and gave it his best to create the business model canvas (BMC) of Nesta’s. With God’s grace, he was declared one of the Provincial Level awardees.
With the help of the DA Regional Field Office XI, he was able to enhance his BMC and made it into the top three Regional Level awardees from the Davao Region. He also took part in the YFCF National Level qualifiers. The Php 200,000.00 financial grant he won was used to expand his farm and to buy new equipment for additional revenue streams.
Callora remains in deep gratitude to Senator Imee Marcos and to the DA for bringing the wonderful program that is YFCF. He hopes to have this kind of program annually to entice more youth to realize that, indeed, “may pera sa agrikultura.” ###