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When Typhoon Pablo hit Davao Oriental on December 4, 2012, probably the hardest part was how to bring livelihood to the hardly-hit municipalities of Baganga, Cateel and Boston.

Many lives were lost and the damage on infrastructure and crops, especially on the top source of income – the coconut were enormous.

However, in the Building Back Better Program of the Provincial Government of Davao Oriental under the leadership of Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon, a very clear and well-defined program was formulated and mutually accepted and adopted by all the stakeholders.

On the part of DTI, it was mandated to develop reliable and alternative sources of income as coconut production cannot be relied upon considering that it will take five to seven years before the farmer can harvest the crop.

Thus, DTI promoted hot chili production and processing for the farmers to immediately start harvesting on the fourth month from planting.

Anchored on Oplan Pablo (Program to Accelerate Building Livelihood Opportunities in Davao Oriental), hot chili production and processing became the center piece of DTI’s assistance to the affected farmers.

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Among the new and significant MSMEs developed for this industry is the Ayana’s Siling Kinamayo, owned and managed by Mr. Edlun and Mrs. Maricel Ferrando of Poblacion, Caraga, Davao Oriental.

Though micro as it is, it has become the major source of income, not just for the MSME, but also for the farmers.

With an initial capitalization of PHP800,000, and with just the couple working, they were able to help 25 chili farmers from the municipality.

These chili farmers, who are their suppliers of native chili, are earning PHP70.00 – PHP80.00 per kg for the fresh and PHP200.00 per kg for dried chili.

With DTI’s intervention on marketing and promotion, training/seminars and product development, Ayana’s Siling Kinamayo is now being sold in Davao City, Manila, Cotabato City, Cagayan de Oro City and other key cities, and to foreign buyers like Indonesia and the United States.

According to Mr. and Mrs. Ferrando, they have been generating between PHP50,000 to PHP500,000 whenever they trade fairs.

Having imbibed the culture of entrepreneurship by heart, Mr. Ferrando was proclaimed winner of the 2015 AFPSLAI National Search for Outstanding Entrepreneur that made him take home the cash prize of PHP100,000.

The husband and wife tandem, who can be regarded as an epitome of an SME with a very good attitude in running their business are not only thinking about making Ayana’s Siling Kinamayo big for their own benefit, but as well as the welfare of their farmer-suppliers.