Photo shows (from left to right) Assec. Bobby Ricohermoso, Ram Base, Sheikh Hassan Nasser J.M Al-Thani, Jimmy Vistar, who is the president and chief executive officer of JCV Worldwide Traders Corp., the exclusive distributor of the leading biofertilizer Unigrow; Usec. Ed Cordevilla, and agriculturist Ronilo Gines. 

DOHA, Qatar– The rich just got richer. Sadly, the poor just got poorer.

This is the classic case between the rich country Qatar and the third-world nation, the Philippines.

To put it in proper context, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in Qatar was last recorded at 63782.51 US dollars in 2022.

The GDP per capita in Qatar is equivalent to a very high 505 percent of the world’s average.

By comparison, the Philippines’ Gross National Income per capita is only at P 54,069.792 as of March 2023.

Instead of increasing, the figure was even lower than the P 61,360.702 recorded in December 2022.

In photo (L-R) Sami Ally Elbourany, Jimmy Vistar, Alhaj El Tayeb, Ram Base, Sheikh Abdulla Nasser J.M Al-Thani, Usec Ed Cordevilla, Assec Bobby Ricohermoso and Ronilo Gines.

High Inflation

The majority of the more than 110 million Filipinos have been reeling from poverty for the longest time brought about by a lack of jobs and economic opportunities as well as high prices of commodities and food products.

To address this problem of high prices of food and arrest perennial high inflation rate, Unigrow Philippines which has been operating in the country since 2017, has been volunteering and offering its assistance to the government.

Unfortunately, the current and past governments have been very busy promoting and supporting the massive use of synthetic fertilizers in their quest to secure the elusive dream of food self-sufficiency and security.


For several years now, Mr. Jimmy Vistar, president and chief executive officer of JCV Worldwide Traders Corp., the exclusive distributor of leading biofertilizer Unigrow in the country and the Asia Pacific has been offering his product to government planners and leaders as the answer to much-sought-after food security, but unfortunately, very few were listening to him.

As a result, the country has been making very slow progress in its food self-sufficiency target while its vast tracts of agricultural lands are continuing to suffer from the ill effects of unhampered and continued use of urea.

During the campaign period in the 2022 national elections, then-presidential candidate and now President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos vowed to bring down the prices of rice, the country’s main staple to just P20 per kilo.

Buoyed by this promise, Mr. Vistar tried mightily to push for the use of Unigrow in the country’s agricultural system but gained only minor successes because some officials at the Department of Agriculture (DA) would rather protect the interests of big multinational fertilizer companies, for some unknown reasons.

Frustrated that he could not make much headway in the local fertilizer industry to help the country attain food sufficiency, Mr. Vistar decided to look elsewhere where he can showcase his product and prove its efficiency, productivity, and enhanced capability to make plants grow even in harshest of conditions.

The featured image shows (L-R) Sami Ally Elbourdany, Jimmy Vistar, Ram Base, Sheikh Abdulla Nasser J.M. Al-Thani, Usec Ed Cordevilla, Assec Bobby Ricohermoso, Ronilo Gines, and Sheikh Hassan Nasser J.M. Al-Thani. (Contributed photo)

Greening the Desert

Fortunately, an opportunity arose after a series of meetings with well-meaning friends that included the group of then Presidential Communications Office Undersecretary Edwin Cordevilla and Assistant Secretary Robert Ricohermoso.

During one of the meetings, they came up with the idea of introducing Unigrow to Qatar through Mr. Ram Base, who was a personal confidant and trusted man of Sheikh Hassan Al-Thani, a prominent member of the Emirate’s ruling family.

Sheikh Hassan, who together with his family owns more than 200 hectares of mostly unutilized land, liked the idea of using Unigrow in their place when Mr. Base pitched the idea to him.

Thus, the big dream of greening the desert was born!

Unigrow Team Goes to Qatar

One thing leads to another and after a series of talks, Sheikh Hassan invited the Unigrow team members to the Emirate to personally meet them and test the product in their farm.

The rest as they say is history.

Unigrow was initially given the chance to try its product for three months in one area of the mostly dry farm to try and use on various plants that include dates, cucumber, and other fruits and vegetables.

Confident that Unigrow will work wonders and help make that certain part of Qatar green, the team even dared challenge itself, that great changes will happen in the demonstration farm in less than a month.

As part of the initial talks, a team of agriculturists to be led by Mr. Ronilo Gines will be sent to Qatar to supervise and preside over the planting of various products on greenhouses as well as in nearby assigned areas.

Expected Success

The objective was to highlight the difference in the growth and progress of plants that use Unigrow as opposed to those that do not utilize the same.

With these encouraging developments, the Unigrow group is supremely confident that its Qatar mission will be a resounding success.

It’s just unfortunate that Qatar which is years ahead as far as economic progress is concerned than the Philippines, will be the first to learn and discover the wonders of Unigrow instead of our country! (AI/MNM)