Former Salesperson Now Runs Own Seedling Business

Back in 2005, Arnel Tandang used to work as a salesman for an agricultural product. He used the experience and knowledge he gained from this experience to build his own agricultural enterprise, the AGT Seedlings.

The main product of his business is vegetable seedlings which are supplied to farmers in CALABARZON. Though he considers himself a full-time farmer, he only rents the land that he uses for his business. Located in Calauan, Laguna, this leased property measures 2,864 square meters and has two greenhouses. These greenhouses are used for growing lettuce in hydroponic and aquaponic systems and can carry up to 7,900 lettuce heads each.

AGT Seedlings

Image: Facebook/AGT Seedlings

When they started, Arnel employed two farmhands. At present they already have four farmworkers and one sales agent. Amidst the pandemic, they continued supporting their employees, even providing shelter for them.

Effects of the pandemic

Though the farm is doing well as their production did not stop, the performance has decreased because of the limited market. Sales dropped as well. In order to adapt, they also engaged with their customers through online platforms. Currently, the majority of their transactions are through the internet and through phone calls.

Aside from farmers, some of their customers also include established companies, local markets, and resellers.

AGT Seedlings

Image: Facebook/AGT Seedlings

They also sell their customized polyvinyl chloride (PVC) hydroponic units which cost around P12,000 TO P16,000, depending on the size and design. Furthermore, they also offer planting materials such as garden soil mix, organic and inorganic fertilizer, seedling trays, and natural growth enhancers, among others.

Arnel’s wife, Lorena, handles the landscaping services which they also offer their clients while Arnel and his son, Angelo, handles the edible landscaping services.

In the future, they plan to buy their own lot once they get to save enough funds. The family is also looking forward to building an agritourism site with a farm-to-table element where they can also share their knowledge on farming, not only to farmers but to young learners, as well.