Masipag Mindanao

Author - masipagmindanaoadmin

A partnership that flourishes through the years

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In the early ‘90s, Church leaders and scientists from Northern Mindanao with great vision for the small-scale farmers have built the strong foundation of a movement known today as Agro-Eco Philippines.

Our hearts are filled with great amount of happiness seeing many of them gathered at the 3rd Organic Asia Congress of IFOAM happening now here in Bislig City, Surigao Del Sur.

Most Rev. Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ, Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro
Vic Tagupa, Executive Director, League of Organic Agriculture Municipalities and Cities (LOAMC)
Bobby Pagusara, Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund
Geonathan T. Barro, Executive Director, Agro-Eco Philippines
With Patrick Belisario, Vice-President, IFOAM Asia

Thank you all for journeying with the farmers.

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This proud organic farmer has made the Filipinos prouder

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Diego “Jun” Dela Cruz, a farmer from Sta. Josefa, Agusan Del Sur did not attend any agricultural university but he has successfully bred 150 rice lines and maintained 350 traditional varieties. His exemplary work has paved his way to become one of the best organic rice practitioners in the world, joining the experts (all of whom have doctorate degrees) from Japan, China, South Korea, Cambodia, India and Indonesia.

Agro-Eco Philippines is very proud of you, Nong Jun!

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Record-breaking yield

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Edgar Opalia, an organic farmer from Alegria, Surigao Del Norte has harvested 10.9 tons from his one hectare rice farm. His impressive yield doubles the regular yield of conventional rice farming in the Philippines.

What’s his secret? He planted his bred rice lines and used locally developed and adopted farming technologies. Of course he did not use high yielding varieties, GMOs, synthetic inputs and commercial fertilizers, instead he made his own organic inputs. He is a farmer-scientist, so to say.

His success story gained international recognition during the World Congress of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM) held in Istanbul, Turkey in 2014.

Edgar is a Board member of Agro-Eco Philippines and the Focal Person for Organic Agriculture in the Municipality of Alegria and provides his technical expertise to the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist of Surigao Del Norte. He also travels throughout Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon to conduct training on organic agriculture and technology enhancement.

You can contact him directly at 09460397937 for your inquiries. You can also get in touch with Mr. Noel Salazar, our coordinator in Caraga Region and Visayas for your training requests at 09995652759. Mr. Salazar is the Mindanao nominee to the National Organic Agriculture Board (NOAB) created under RA 10068 and mandated to promote organic agriculture throughout the Philippines. You can click on this link for further information about our organization and programs: http://www.masipagmindanao.org/blog/masipag-mindanao-become-agro-eco-philippines/.

Organic agriculture is not an option, it’s a must!

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SPARCDEV and Agro-Eco Philippines spearhead PGS in Surigao Del Sur

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Hinatuan is a place to visit if you want to see to the Enchanted River, a renowned natural wonder in the Philippines. It is also the site of the 8-storey Doppler Radar of PAG-ASA. But this progressive municipality in Surigao Del Sur is creating another milestone with the establishment of its Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) through the tripartite partnership of the local government unit, civil society organizations and organic farmers.

The creation of PGS Hinatuan, a first to be established in the whole province is a result of the organizing efforts of SPARCDEV, a provincial NGO working on organic agriculture in partnership with Agro-Eco Philippines, Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund, IPDI, DKA Austria, and the local government units.

Last year, SPARCDEV, Agro-Eco Philippines and LGU Hinatuan have entered into a Memorandum of Agreement mainstreaming organic agriculture in line with right to food and climate change adaptation. Surigao Del Sur is at the hotspot of climate change and extreme weather events being the entry point of typhoons in Mindanao.

“The launching that we did today (June 30, 2017) has formalized the organizational structure, system of operations and development goals of PGS Hinatuan,” said Mr. Artemio “Dodz” Llesis, Executive Director of SPARCDEV who is also elected as the Chairperson of this body. Farmer’s groups and government officials from the provincial and municipal level have attended in the launching and showed their full support to PGS stating that third party certification is counterproductive and anti-small farmers.

“With this significant development, we’re very optimistic that the organic agriculture program in Surigao Del Sur can take a big leap in the months to come because it is now providing more opportunities to the small farmers and affordable organic products to the consuming public,” shared by Atty. Candelario Viola, Vice-Mayor of Hinatuan and Mr. Esmeraldo Odtohan, Assistant Provincial Agriculturist of Surigao Del Sur.

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Women farmer-scientists at the forefront of climate change adaptation

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The institutional partnership of Agro-Eco Philippines and Central Mindanao University (CMU) has developed numerous women farmer-scientists now engaged in establishing community-based researches on resilient farming practices and technologies.

To empower more farmers, an on-farm research site on the different varieties of sweet potato and other root crops has already been established in Brgy. Mibantang, Quezon, Bukidnon being managed by MASUSAG, a farmer’s organization compose mostly of women and in partnership with the Barangay Council. This development approach addresses environmental, social, economic, and gender issues which conventional agriculture may have failed to do so.

For your inquiries about this program, please contact Ms. Elma May Petalcurin, the Research and Development Officer of Agro-Eco Philippines at 09262251055.

Together, we can create more effective, grounded and applicable adaptation measures to climate change.

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Developing resilient farming technologies in a country severely affected by climate change

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The US withdrawal from Paris Agreement means that the impacts of climate change will worsen in the years to come particularly in the developing countries like the Philippines which contributed so little in the global greenhouse gasses emission.

While we continue to rally for Climate Justice, we must also strengthen the adaptation capacity of the farmers who comprise the majority of our population by developing more climate-resilient farming practices based on the interconnected framework of right to food and agroecology.

In response to this need, Agro-Eco Philippines in partnership with the Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund, DKA Austria and the Missionary Society of St. Columban are now developing various resilient crops and farming technologies in our 14-hectare Resource Center located at Brgy. Maluko, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. This effort aims to increase the capacity of the poor farmers address extreme weather events brought about by climate change. It also provides the civil society organizations with appropriate agriculture-based programs that are more relevant and appropriate to the people in the communities.

You can contact Mr. Edilfledo Muyco, Farm Manager of Agro-Eco Philippines’ Resource Center (ARC) at 09096987421 and Mr. Fedilito Agot, Research Officer at 09983207650 for your inquiries. You can also write to agroecophil.info@gmail.com for your partnership with our Mindanao-based national organization.

Climate Change is everyone’s concern. Let us work for it.

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Want organic products at reasonable price? Please contact the Marketing Coordinator of Agro-Eco Philippines.

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Finally, small and medium-scale organic farmers can augment their income while at the same time providing the consumers with affordable, accessible, adequate and certified organic products. Agro-Eco Philippines has created a Social Enterprise Program that would cater the growing demands for organic products without putting the farmers at the losing end, which has been the case for the past years.

This is the tasked given to our newly hired Marketing Coordinator in the person of Mr. Fidel “Boyet” Carpesano, an organic farmer-entrepreneur from Banaybanay, Davao Oriental, a place synonymous with rice growing. Boyet had an amazing transformation story. He was once a long-time grower of hybrid rice from Bayer and Pioneer, two of the most controversial and widely opposed agro-chemical TNCs. But he had shifted to organic farming in 2008 after realizing that conventional agriculture made him and many of his fellow farmers deeply entrenched in a vicious cycle of debt and poverty.

Before he became a staff in June 1, 2017, Boyet was the Chairperson of the Mindanao Marketing Committee of Agro-Eco Philippines since 2015, working with many organic farmers to improve their livelihood and quality of life. His expertise and experience in this field plus his commitment to social change can lead more farmers out of poverty and despair.

Boyet is the official representative of Agro-Eco Philippines authorized to engage into organic product marketing, certification and PGS installation, linkaging, and partnerships with LGUs, NGOs, farmer’s groups, and other like-minded institutions or individuals, alliances and formations in behalf of the organization.

Just contact him anytime at 09353614438 or 09122003323, or thru his email address: boyetcarpesano@gmail.com for your organic product needs and related concerns.

Agro-Eco Philippines is happy to serve you even better.

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Agro-Eco Philippines hired another two Regional Coordinators

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Welcome Fr. Jun and Tirso! Agro-Eco Philippines is glad to inform the public that we have added two regional coordinators in order to serve more Filipino farmers even better. Mr. Uldarico Galenzoga, Jr. or “Fr. Jun” as he is fondly called by the farmers is taking charge of our project operations in Davao Region while Mr.Tirso Lopecillo is taking charge in Northern Mindanao Region.

Ordained Priest in 1984, Fr. Jun was formerly the Social Action Director of the Diocese of Mati where he had actively promoted organic agriculture in a time when such farming practice wasn’t as popular as it is now. He became a full time organic farmer in 2010 and was elected as the Chairperson of the Provincial Consultative Team in Compostela Valley before he became a staff in January 2017.

Mr. Tirso Lopecillo is a well experienced farmer leader, community-based educator and Church worker. He had more than 10 years of working experience with the Missionary Society of St. Columban in Zamboanga Del Sur actively opposing large-scale mining operations and addressing social injustices. Before being hired as staff, he was the Chairperson of the Provincial Consultative Team in Zamboanga De Sur and played a key role in the promotions of organic agriculture in Zamboanga peninsula. He is a practicing organic farmer until now.

They are the official representatives and assigned staff of Agro-Eco Philippines in Davao Region and in Northern Mindanao. And they’re authorized to conduct activities and to enter into partnerships with NGOs and civil society organizations, LGUs, farmer’s groups, Church-based groups, formations and alliances in behalf of our organization.

You can contact Fr. Jun for your needs on organic agriculture, agroecology and right to food advocacy in Davao City and in the provinces of Davao Oriental, Davao Del Norte, parts of Compostela Valley, Davao Del Sur and Davao Occidental at 09099393216. You can also get in touch with Tirso Lopecillo for the same concerns in Cagayan De Oro City and in the provinces of Bukidnon, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Lanao Del Sur, Lanao Del Norte and Iligan City at 09106394117.

For your inquiries about our programs and organizational partnership, you may get in touch with our Executive Director, Mr. Geonathan T. Barro, at 09185599814 or through this email address: agroecophil.info@gmail.com.

Thank you for your relentless support and solidarity!

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Philippine organic farmers are becoming social entrepreneurs

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The once exploited and marginalized Filipino farmers are now running their own business. Thank you everyone for keep on supporting organic agriculture in many ways! Significant changes are swelling in the ground – from the farmers’ fields to the marketing outlets and public discourses.

This favorable yet challenging situation made Agro-Eco Philippines, Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund, DKA Austria, and Partner NGOs from Panay (PINA), Surigao and Samar (CERD) to organize a National Training on Social Enterprise held few days ago at Agro-Eco Philippines’ Resource Center (ARC) in Maluko, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. The training was facilitated by Mr. Ervin More, an experienced social entrepreneur. He has three decades of experience in development work, project management, organizational development and enterprise development with the Filipino farmers and fisher folks.

It is a sad social reality that farmers and NGOs are more often placed in the disadvantageous position when it comes to marketing and income-generations. But in the opposite side of the picture, the traders, middlemen, consolidators and speculators are raking so much profit and accessing more opportunities from the toils of the farmers and even from the social development programs of NGOs and the government.

This situation has created a chain of poverty and severe hunger in the farming communities stripping off the farmers with their rights not only over the seeds and agricultural inputs, but also over their organic produce, distribution, pricing, and the entire value chain.

Social enterprise is making organic agriculture much more favorable to the small-scale farmers and consumers.

Thus, social enterprise, in general, aims to create more income-generating activities at the household and community level with the intention of redistributing profits to the members of the organization while creating more economic opportunities, local employment, and ensuring environmental sustainability.

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A small-scale farmer’s org with huge impacts

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The Mahayahay Farmer’s Organization (MAFO), an organization of small-scale organic farmers in Barangay Malaya, Banga, South Cotabato has caught the attention of the Department of Agriculture and Local Government Units with their climate-resilient farming practices, which feature crops and livestock integration, upland rice, vegetables, root crops, and organic product marketing.

Just recently, the Regional Office (Region 12) of the Department of Agriculture has awarded MAFO with a half million-worth project in support to their existing programs and advocacy.

MAFO is a member-organization of Agro-Eco Philippines since 2004. Its leader, Mr. Edmar Villanueva, sits in the provincial organic agriculture body of South Cotabato and also heads the Provincial Consultative Team (PCT) of Agro-Eco Philippines in the same province. http://www.masipagmindanao.org/blog/masipag-mindanao-become-agro-eco-philippines/

MAFO is also working with the Provincial Committee on Agriculture Chaired by Board Member Romulo Solivio in promoting organic agriculture and in opposing GMOs, aerial spraying, and the on-going large-scale coal mining explorations of Daguma-Agro Minerals in Barangay Ned, Municipality of Lake Sebu, a watershed and a prime agricultural bowl of the province.

#MAFO
#AgroEcoPhilippines
#RightToFood
#Agroecology
#ProjectAFFIRMED

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