Sunday, January 21, 2018
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      Pina Wolfe sells her chili powder under the brand, Diablo de Davao, and is now reaching different markets like sari-saristores and malls in Tagum City.


      For one and a half years, 47-year old Crispina “Pina” Wolfe spent most of her time sweeping the streets near Tagum City Hall. But all of that has changed. Today, she is busy processing chili into powder and flakes, and selling it to the local market.

      “For a long time, I’ve been thinking that my life’s progress is very slow being just a street sweeper, so when an opportunity came for me to go into a chili farming business, I did not hesitate to grab it,” said Pina, who is one of 12 entrepreneurs awarded with a soft business loan by the Tuason Development Foundation, Inc. (TDFI).

      The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through the Philippine-American Fund, supports TDFI and its partners, particularly local government units, address poverty and lack of economic opportunities in the region through the Davao Gulf Business Incubator (DGBI) project.

      The project helps struggling farmers and fisherfolk along the Davao Gulf region by training them on entrepreneurship and providing access to startup capital to expand their own business. The business incubation support also includes one-on-one coaching and mentoring sessions in financial management, marketing and business planning among others, to help improve business practices and ensure sustainable business operations. Local governments in the region also assist by accelerating business licensing and providing opportunities for entrepreneurs to exhibit and sell their products.

      Pina has used her loan to develop a leased area of around 500 square meters where she plants a local variety of chili. During the peak harvest on the fourth month from planting, one chili plant can produce 2-3 kilos of fresh chili which when processed, will produce 1-1.5 kilos of chili powder or 300 grams of chili flakes, the market price of which is about P600-P650 per kilo. There is a high demand for both chili powder and chili flakes. A mall in Davao City is offering Pina a contract to continuously supply them with chili products.

      Pina laughs and shares, “I was able to change my career with the help of DGBI. Chili is hot, but it gives me hotter income”.

      Pina’s growing chili business is one of 45 enterprises receiving incubation support from TDFI.