Masipag Mindanao

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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