Farm Manager’s Annual Meeting Report
In the recent Annual Stockholders Meeting of PhilAgrivest held last April 26, 2014 in our newly relocated Makati office, Mr. Jerry Navarro, the Farm Manager gave a very factual report of the on going and past developments and challenges in our farm operations. Here is a link to the digital file of his report in PDF format that you can download. Click the image on the left to get the PDF link and download or read it from there.
The farm is now approaching its short term goal of having 12,000 pili trees planted by the end of this year. Due to the differing methods of planting in the early years of the farm’s development, some of the earlier planted trees are larger than others and will be ready for harvest before others.
In this past year, the farm has fully embraced the planting of only grafted seedlings, which reduces the harvest time by 2 to 3 years. With our own seedlings nursery in place now, and our staff trained on grafting, our success rate in planting grafted trees is quite high (versus grafted trees shipped in from outside areas).
We are therefore well on our way to having 20,000 trees planted and ready for harvest by year 2020 (note however that our updated financial projections through to year 2021 only shows the harvesting of 12,000 trees – this is because the projection was conservatively based only on trees we currently have in the ground)
Prices and costs
Although the company is not yet harvesting and processing pili nuts, we keep a close eye on the domestic and export pricing of drupe, nuts in the shell and processed nuts. And, as written before, the price of the nuts varies significantly throughout the year due to supply and demand (prices lower during the harvest season and higher during the “off season”).
Currently, in the Bicol region, processed nut prices per kilogram have dropped to around the P600 to P700 price range for bulk sales since we are now in the harvesting season, but still they maintain a healthy close to P900 price for small snack, low volume sales. And each year, as demand continues to rise, one might think prices will continue to rise – however, future price increases may be offset or mitigated by a greater supply entering the market, should more pili nut farms be developed.
Costs of basic inputs have remained basically the same over the past several months:
- seedlings from Bicol landed in Tablas still cost around P15 each
- farm labor still remains at minimum wage
- electricity rate has remained steady
- petrol cost per liter has remained relatively stable
Our vermicasting nursery area is in the process of major expansion – all new seedling plantings are now fully supported by organic fertilizer coming from our own vermicasting facility (Vermiculture).
Vermicast is an organic/natural fertilizer that is created by using composting earthworms. The worms are placed in a container which is filled with compost. The worms make their way through the food and excrete what is called “vermicast”.
Vermicast enriches the soil and helps to ensure that plants receive all the nutrients they need to grow successfully. Vermicast renews the soil and is used as a natural fertilizer. It is made by recycling organic waste which is transformed into natural fertilizer by using these worms. The process uses a variety of left over products such as vegetable cuttings and manure from cattle, pigs, dogs and chickens.
Fire Prevention and Irrigation
In view of the ongoing “El Nino” conditions, and ever increasing number of pili plantings, the board of directors in their May meeting approved expansion of the farm’s irrigation activities, to include additional reservoirs, pumping equipment
(for water from the stream to the reservoirs), an extensive “fire hydrant” type system of readily available water to support fire mitigation, additional communication equipment, additional 24 hour quard/observation posts, and all terrain vehicles to more quickly move a fire fighting team to hot spots.
CPA Annual Audit Report
The annual audit of the companies by the independent CPA firm is just beginning. Their work was delayed this year primarily by the interruption of our office activities when we moved from the Mall of Asia Two Ecom location to our present new address in the Makati address. We were effectively “without” a brick and mortar office for about 6 weeks, operating on a “virtual” basis. That was a difficult period as it is normally when the books are being closed for the year.
We now anticipate their onsite work to commence in July and to be completed within 4 to 6 weeks. Upon receipt of the final audited report, it will be made available to all stockholders wishing to receive a copy.
Export Sales – Joint Venture
The company, by way of its joint venture with a processor in the Bicol Region, is in discussions currently with numerous potential buyers, and working through issues such as package design, pricing, purchase volumes, product type, etc. The company fully anticipates its first sales in July, which is consistent with the projections provided at the annual shareholder’s meeting.