Purchasing small working farm in Cebu - share your experience with us!

Hi all, Myself and my Filipino wife are working and living here in Western Australia while waiting for my wife to be approved for permanent residency.
Once this occurs we would like to purchase about 3 hectares of agriculture land in Cebu and commute and work the farm with fruit trees animals etc.
Im wondering has anyone else done this and the process to make it happen so we can attempt to avoid mistakes along the way.

Please do not do this!!!!! Who will look after the farm??? There will be a never ending stream of requests for extra money for expenses, The income you get will not even cover the airfare, your time and trouble ,,, and your headaches.
   I see many properties that are sale as the owner is overseas. The owner of course has to support a very large number of ''relations'' etc.
    Of course,, all income goes to them and expenses to you.
  Sorry for bursting your bubble,, but this is the truth!!!! you do not see Chinamen investing in farm lots here. or any where in the world.
   been there done that with huge loss of money

I agree that there will be a lot of relatives with hands out but what sort of a statement is that - you do not see chinamen investing in farm lots here or anywhere in the world, what difference does that make if they are or aren't to the OP's post.

Instead of just saying not to do it, why dont you tell your experiences in more detail as you say "been there done that with huge loss of money" so that people can make a more informed decision and possibly learn from your mistakes as the OP requested. I too would be interested to learn from others about this.

I am sorry for the confusion I have caused about small farms, businesses and working in the Philippines.Please let me explain the situation in the Phils.
1. Foreigners can not own land in the Philippines. Therefore you cannot mortgage it to do anything with it. If there is a legal problem, the court case gets tied up for years. Do not get sucked into an agreement where you think you have rights,,You have no rights and are merely a walking target with a bulls eye printed on your back.

2. Hopefully your wife is honest, however her relations may not be or they have long lists of needs and wants.  Remember, getting married to foreigner is like us hitting a big lottery ticket in our country. Of course, we all have heard of horror stories of  people blowing their money!

3.It is hard to get a work permit in this country. The Philippine immigration pays a 2,000 peso reward to anybody who reports a foreigner for any wrongdoing. Of course any flimsy excuse will do to earn the reward money.
4. Google ''Philippine Immigration Jail'' One japanese was there for 14 years.
  There is a very good reason why Filipinos leave this country. Because it is corrupt, inefficient, and people can not get ahead here.

I stayed in the Cebu area from '99 to Feb. 2002. I was involved in a couple projects because I mixed with the local ppl. Regarding a working farm, I may be able to help a bit, but not completely on target.

Here in San Francisco CA I stay in a unit owned by a Filipina who's from Iloilo. Her dad and mom own farmland in that province of Panay Island. It's sugar growing country and they have all the connections for potential investors. They're very honest ppl and with my assistance could help you get started in Sugar farming in Iloilo. I'd estimate to get started you'd need a minimum of $35,000.

I'm currently finishing up a lawsuit here in the U.S. and if things work well I may transfer to Cebu next year. I've considered Iloilo because of how valuable it is to know honest Filipinas/Filipinos who work with you straight. But I prefer the life in Cebu. When I was in Cebu back in '01 I knew a radio jock who had connections to set me up with farmland in the highlands above Cebu and further down south (Cebu Island) but I don't have his contact info anymore. Might be able to find him if I was their though.

This may or may not help and you may have lost interest. Just wanted to jump in.

Finding good labour ( very difficult) not consistant!!  If you are not  there nothing gets done very well ! Relatives 75% of the time are useless, when it comes to work , and will be costly . Does your area have regular rain to sustain your crop intentions ? bottom line waste of money if you dont have experience of farming , the area,and are on the ground to supervise! Please use commonsense!!

Actually in the sugar production areas of Iloilo that I am citing, the whole sequence of steps can be quickly implemented. Sorry to be positive! I stayed in PI several years and accomplished a few things. Yes indeed, w/o the personal connections, the problems you cited are common, but farming gets done! Iloilo has produced a lot of Sugar, and that wasn't the result of incompetence.

The ppl I know here in SF were farmers for many years, they're retired now. The grandpa is currently fighting cancer, but these ppl are as solid as it gets. If someone wanted to involve themselves in the project I alluded to, they'd need to go thru me; again, personal connections are very important.

I hope I'm not rude but business and farming does get done in PI!

To list a few details. I mentioned one would need about 35k usd to get started. This means one would have 50 acres under cultivation - the absolute minimum for an investor to come away with a profit. Included in the 35k is all the labor - which we Westerners might think is superfluous. Staff includes, a Guard, an Accountant, an Overseer, the planting crew, the harvest crew, drivers, etc. Once on-site, and once experience has been gained, one might be able to trim labor costs. But hiring a full staff - but PLEASE DON'T FLASH your CASH!! - puts a number of local ppl on your side, including their relatives. Because the owners of the property are successful over here in the U.S., e.g. the daughter owns a couple nice houses - a reasonable accomplishment in the high priced Bay Area, there in no direct relatives to leech off the potential farmer. As far as staff relatives hitting you up; because of the organizational structure - you're not going thru them, they're simply employed, I don't think there would be an issue. And this is a BIG ASSET for a foreigner wanting to do business.

There are other crops more profitable than sugar. But that for now will be a trade secret (nothing illegal, O.K.). With sugar in the parts of Iloilo that the family I've known closely for over three years, one is plugging into a groove and this is one of the reasons things can go smoothly. e.g. all the labor in the area knows the standard prices, costs, etc., hard to cheat you when you ride the groove and everyone knows the deal.

For anyone out there wishing to jump in to small to mid-range sugar production, I have the connections.

Would you need to live onsite? Yes, I'd advise so, until your staff knows you and you can sort out trustability and establish counterchecks.

Hi Keith ,
Just wondering if you finally started the farming business in the Philippines if not I have a proposal for a farming venture located on the Island of Palawan , if interested please contact me by email at:
Kish Gohil

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