Most of us would easily assume that starting a business is indeed hard and of course, expensive. But on the contrary, who would’ve thought that a 21-year-old guy named Harold Zapata can start one with just only P1,000?
Harold Zapata made headlines on the Internet recently because of his hydroponics farming business, where he primarily sells lettuce. Although initially discouraged by his grandfather at first, saying that farming is a poor man’s profession, Harold was adamant to follow this hobby of his.
“Mag-iiinhinyero ka. Hindi ka magsasaka. Parang tumatak na sa utak niya na talagang ‘pag farmer is farmer lang,” he recalled.
But as fate may have it, farming is indeed in Harold’s blood, as he tried his luck in farming with such a small amount of money as capital. He also wanted to prove his appreciation towards farmers, remarking that without these modern-day yet underrated heroes, food won’t be served in every Filipino family’s tables.
It all began in one summer when Harold got the keen interest about hydroponics farming, a method of farming where the plants rely and grown on water, instead of the traditional soil. With just P1,000 in his pocket, Harold constructed a makeshift greenhouse, as well as using materials such as Styrofoam and also, with a little help from his friends.
“Starter kit natin yung grape box, yung lalagyan ng prutas sa palengke. Hiningi lang namin yung sampung piraso dito sa kakilala namin, dun kami nag-try na mag-hydroponics farming,” he explained.
Harold mentioned that at first, he could not believe that you actually only need as little as P1,000 to start in this business, as long as you are determined and resourceful enough.
“Napakamura lang ng mga expenses niya. ‘Pag nakapag-start ka kasi, gagastusin mo na lang styro cups, coco peat, feeds, saka nutrients. Kahit hydroponics ‘yon, mas tipid siya kumpara sa traditional farming sa tubig.”
Initially producing an average of 80 lettuce plants, as time progressed, Harold managed to grow enough lettuce where today, he roughly earns an average of P15,000 a month from selling these crops. One major win that Harold recognizes in this experience is that aside farming serves as his hobby, he also earns money enough to help out with the family expenses and have some savings.
Aside from the plants primarily the lettuce, Harold also earns money through selling seedlings, services for constructing greenhouses and also, consultation services regarding hydroponics farming. Furthermore, enjoying your hobby by doing enough research is fundamental if you really want to grow and consider pursuing it full-time.
“Pag pinasok mo kasi ang hilig mo, may mga bintanang nagbubukas diyan na panibagong opportunity sa ‘yo, another lesson. Hindi lang siya magfo-focus sa farming; marami ka ring matututunan about sa buhay natin,” he ended.