Alegria D. Benitez
Bgy. Balagan, Binmaley, Pangasinan
Nominee-client of the Rural Bank of Malasiqui, Inc. (RBMI)
Chicken manure, dried tobacco leaves, midribs and stalks, old tires. Who would think that these waste materials would bring thousands of income to simple fishpond caretakers?
Yes! Entrepreneur Alegria Benitez earned a total net income of P580,000 in 2008 from total sales of P1.17 million, definitely a far cry from their daily-wage days.
With borrowed money from the Rural Bank of Malasiqui and their knowledge and skills acquired from running fishponds for almost three decades, Alegria and her husband, Felipe ventured into the production of green algae as feed meal for fish. Through the years, the couple has perfected their processing techniques and word of the high-grade quality of their product has spread through their customers. The demand for their organically-produced rich algae steadily increased and in a short period of time, they became the major suppliers in Western Pangasinan.
Their success story is not without the usual twists and turns. In May, 2008, super typhoon Cosme destroyed their house, a store which they have put up, and their warehouse. But then again, as in any success story, the heroes never gave up. They rebuilt their business and strived even more to sustain their enterprises.
They participated in the integrated Agro-Industrial Development Program for Hog Raising conducted by the RBMI. Alegria, became a member of the Women’s Brigade in her community and participated in the NLDC-sponsored seminar of Generate Your Business Idea (Paglikha ng Ideyang Pang-Negosyo). Her newly-acquired knowledge pushed her to diversify and expand her businesses. She engaged in the use of old tires for pots, humps, and fences, and put up a backyard piggery and sari-sari store.
Alegria’s determination and perseverance gained for her great dividends. Now, all but two of her 13 children have graduated. Among her children, she has four engineering graduates, two nurses, a teacher, and an agriculturist.