The agriculture industry would not be possible without the support industries that make it work faster, more efficient, more convenient, and more productive. One such company that has made a name for itself for providing casting, machinery, and fabrication services for different companies and farmer groups is RU Foundry amp; Machine Shop Corporation in Bacolod City. Behind the success of RU Foundry is a Chinese mestizo with a vision for a better future for the Filipino-Ramon Uy. If the business of the person is shredding, then there can be hiring of the services of the bankruptcy attorney san diego. The services will provide enormous benefits to them.
RU Foundry has been providing the spare parts needed by sugar mills, cement and mining factories, as well as shipping, transportation, and agro-industrial companies. But the foundry has shifted to the manufacturing of equipments, of which Mr. Uy is better known. He is famous for the RU Shredder, which has been of service to farmer groups, NGOs, and local government units around the country. Since he started selling these shredders in 1999, RU Foundry has sold more than 200 shredders already. The smallest shredder is about P60,000, while the big ones, with a shredding capacity of up to 2.2 tons per hour, would cost close to a million and a quarter pesos. They also manufacture made-to-order units to suit a farmer’s needs and they have been adding features, such as the efficient wood chipper, so that garbage disposal will be maximized.
But business doesn’t stop there for Mr. Uy. Shredding is just the first step to achieve his vision for sustainable farming and increased productivity for farmers from organic gardening.
SHREDDED GARBAGE amp; ORGANIC GARDENING
Mr. Uy’s venture into the manufacturing of shredders started when good friend Jose “Batchoy” Henares (Agriculture, September 2004) asked him if he could repair the shredder that was being used by Henares’s organic farm in Alangilan, Bacolod City. The shredder was beyond repair because it was imported and the spare parts needed were not available in the country. Mr. Uy offered to make a similar shredder, but this time using materials that are available locally. It had been a year of trial and error, with Mr. Henares testing the viability of each improved work until they came up with the prototype.
The RU shredders have gone a long way since then. Mr. Uy’s intention is not just for every farmer group to have a shredder but that every farmer should enjoy increased productivity and a better way of life with farming the natural way. Shredding garbage is the initial step, but Mr. Uy is looking into the potential of farmers to be able to manufacture their own fertilizer using available indigenous materials that are environment friendly through vermi-composting. “I would like to reach the farmers at the household level, to teach them the value of making their own fertilizer instead of just buying and using chemicals,” he says. The indigenous materials that he is talking about are the sugarcane tops for sugar farmers; rice hull, rice bran, and hay for rice farmers; and the cornhusks, cobs, and the plant itself for corn farmers.
Mr. Uy outlines his idea, envisioning the possible scenario: a farmer gathers the waste materials from his farm and processes them through the shredder while his wife takes care of vermi-composting. The organic fertilizer that they will produce after vermi-composting may be used to enrich their fields, while the excess humus may be sold by the kilo for retail or by the sack. And since the worms multiply very fast, they can also sell them to other farmers. They have already saved on their fertilizer and pesticide use, they would still earn from the by-products of vermi-composting. This will increase their household income and thus, upgrade their lifestyle, Mr. Uy adds.
“But this plan will not have an impact on the farmers if they are not taught properly,” Mr. Uy tells, as he stresses that there is a need to further educate the people about the advantages of organic farming. They may have heard about it but have not fully understood its benefits. One good reason is that although using chemicals to enhance farming may be cost-effective at first, however, in the long run, the costs increase because the soil gets depleted, so more and more fertilizers will be needed to maintain production. On the other hand, organic gardening may start with some work and investment, but the cost of production will steadily decrease and the yield will increase as the years go by because the soil condition is improving. Plants also become resistant to pests and diseases because they are healthier. “Hopefully, we are going to achieve a breakthrough among the farmers by helping them see the benefits of organic farming to their lives and the country as well,” he says.
Mr. Uy also acknowledges the fact that a single farmer may not afford a shredder by himself, but a cooperative or group may make the purchase and handle the management of shredding among its members. He is also proposing to different government agencies the idea of providing technology and education to the farmers instead of just loaning or giving out chemicals.
At present, Mr. Uy is allowing on-the-job trainees from technical schools to work at his shop in order for these young people to have hands on training and at the same time, they provide fresh ideas for the foundry for improvements on existing equipment. To further develop their different products, Mr. Uy also visits different farms and observes the different systems of farming, terrain, soil condition, and the like in order to create the equipment suitable for local use.
For better quality, all the equipment from RU Foundry, especially the shredders, are made using metal casting not welding, because the vibration produced during shredding causes premature cracking of the equipment’s body.
Eventually, Mr. Uy hopes to be able to provide jobs to technical school graduates who are having a hard time looking for jobs by farming out the manpower to the schools.
Aside from helping farmers, Mr. Uy’s other goal is to contribute to the effective waste management and disposal by reducing waste. He is a proponent of garbage segregation so that organic wastes may be processed and returned to the environment as organic fertilizer. Non-biodegradable wastes may be recycled.
He has approached many local government units and a number of them as heeded the call to manage garbage disposal other than just dumping them altogether. For example in Manila, the Japan International Cooperation Agency has published a study that shows that the daily garbage volume in Metro Manila is about 8,000 tons and steadily increasing. However, more than half of this figure is biodegradable and may be lessened by effective waste disposal. “The objective here is to speed up the process of decomposition so that organic wastes will not pile up. Organic material combined with inorganic materials become garbage,” Mr. Uy explains.
A CHANGE OF HEART
“I have always thought that our country’s economy will improve with industrialization. But I realized as time went by that it can only happen if we strengthen our agricultural sector,” Mr. Uy reveals. Our country is agriculture-based and the only way to get our economy moving is by empowering our farmers, he adds. “The industries will just follow gradually as the need arises until we are fully industrialized.”
After seeing the value of agriculture to our economy, Mr. Uy changed his goals and direction in life. Now, he is also into vermi-composting and organic gardening himself at his own backyard. He has also set up a model farm with a partner in Bago City, Negros Occidental in order to showcase how integrated organic gardening can work for other farmers, even the small ones. He is also starting one in Bacolod City, involving the Scared Heart Seminary. He has hired a full-time agriculturist who has also a passion for organic farming to help him in his mission.
He is willing to teach farmers and he would be very happy to one day see that lives have been changed because of the technology and knowledge that he has imparted.