There’s no way to go but up for Lovely’s Mushroom Farm, an agribusiness owned by twenty-three-year-old Lovely Rose Viernes of Piddig, Ilocos Norte.
The booming agribusiness supplies fresh oyster mushrooms to seven municipalities in Ilocos Norte namely Sarrat, Dingras, Solsona, Piddig, Vintar, and San Nicolas as well as Laoag City.
To maximize earning potential, Lovely also ventured into processing which brought forth her well-loved mushroom products such as mushroom chicharron, mushroom Shanghai rolls, and mushroom balls.
Lovely is one of the borrowers under the Kapital Access for Young Agripreneurs (KAYA), a credit program specially designed by the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) to bring the youth, specifically those who are 18-30 years old, back to agriculture and fisheries.
Through KAYA, she was able to avail zero-interest loan worth P432,000 which she used to build a growing house and equipment to start her mushroom production.
With the increasing market demand for her mushroom, Lovely sets her sights on expansion.
An additional mushroom growing house, a composting area, equipment for bagging, and a pressure cooker for spawn production are some of the things she needs to invest in to broaden the target market while significantly boosting her estimated monthly net income of P25,000 as of now.
But with her passion, dedication, and expertise for mushrooms, it’s only a matter of time before her plans come to fruition.
It was her parents, who are both rice farmers, who inspired Lovely to embrace agriculture.
“Salamat sa aking mga masisipag na magulang dahil kahit mahirap ang buhay ay naitaguyod kaming tatlong magkakapatid,” said Lovely, who was the youngest of the siblings.
Lovely’s love affair with mushrooms began when she was able to attend training on mushroom production while studying Agriculture, Major in Horticulture at the Mariano Marcos State University.
Fascinated by the fantastic fungi, Lovely, who was a scholar at the time, resolved to make it the focus of her thesis.
Fast forward to today, Lovely’s products are always sold-out and in demand that she is able to support her family. But she knows the best is yet to come.
Lovely knows there’s more to learn about mushrooms so she continues to expand her skills and knowledge by attending training and seminars.
She also recognizes the importance of giving back to the community and inspiring other young people to consider agriculture. That’s why she now mentors other potential young agripreneurs on how they can start their own mushroom production.
“Sa mga kabataan, huwag kayong matakot mag-venture sa agrikultura. Madami ang oportunidad na naghihintay sa inyo basta’t magkaroon ng positive mindset at maging masipag,” the young agripreneur exhorted.