1. Rescue and Conservation of Traditional Plant Genetic Resources– the current profit driven agricultural system that are dominated by the corporations dismantled the culture of seed savings that was practiced by farmers since the start of agriculture 10,000 years ago until the introduction of the modern agriculture, the Green Revolution. The dependency of farmers to the so called modern seeds (the high yielding varieties, the hybrids and the genetically modified crops) which are very dependent to the agro- chemical fertilizers and pesticides contributed much to vast environmental destruction and growing incidence of poverty. Todays, thousands of seeds are in the hands of the international agricultural centers and transnational/ multinational corporations conserved in their gene banks for their vested interest while the farmers cannot begin farming if they cannot buy seeds. MASIPAG Mindanao believes that saving seeds is a sovereign right. Thus, this program aims to rediscover the beauty and wonders of savings seeds and to explore and learn the adaptive capability of our traditional plant genetic resources to the changing climate. To attain our objectives we continuously work on the collection of traditional plant genetic resources and will be evaluated in farmers learning farm and in the MASIPAG Mindanao Biodiversity Center for the purpose of production, improvement and conservation.
2. Research and Development of Farmers Developed/ Adapted Technologies– for thousand of years farmers are developing local knowledge systems in agriculture as their coping mechanism and adaptation to environmental challenges and problems. These culture in farming was intentionally erased by todays modern agriculture. Technology development were institutionalized in universities, international agricultural research centers and corporations. Because farmers were excluded in the technology development, they were alienated to the extent of losing local knowledge in farming.
To sustain agriculture local knowledge must be emphasized as a prime mover to successful production. This program aims to document and evaluate farmers’ practices and innovations and put scientific foundation of their practice. In this program farmer and scientist are hand in hand in building scientific foundation to develop local knowledge system.