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Davao Church’s organic campaign reaping rewards

Southern Filipino farmers are reporting higher yields

A Filipino rice farmer A Filipino rice farmer
  • Rick Flores, Davao City
  • Philippines
  • February 1, 2011
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A Church program for sustainable agriculture in the southern Philippines is reaping rewards with farmers who adopted organic rice planting methods now reporting higher yields.

“We’ll continue the program because of its success,” said Sister Minda Renegado of Davao archdiocese’s Social Action Center.

She said a new group of 30 rice farmers had just finished a training workshop on organic farming.

At least 500 farmers have been trained at the center since the program started in 2006. “It is already being implemented in various parts of the city,” said Sister Renegado.

Some farmers from upland villages have adopted “finance management” to help boost their production, the nun added.

“I used to depend on two or three harvests per year, but now I’ve learned to diversify my two-hectare farm,” 47-year-old farmer Patricio Muncabe told ucanews.com.

He said he learned a lot from the series of training workshops conducted by the Church in association with the federal Agriculture Department.

Instead of planting just rice I also plant vegetables on my farm and fertilize my crops with manure, Muncabe explained.

“The local Church has been a staunch ally of organic farming,” said Chinky Pelino from Interface Development Interventions, a member of the Go Organic Mindanao network.

She said Church groups were responsible for the passage of a local law that helped optimize organic agriculture.

“We could not have influenced legislators without the support of the Church, which shares our common principle of sustainable and ecologically-friendly farming practices,” Pelino told ucanews.com.

Related reports
Church workers help farmers earn from coffee
Asian Churches promote organic farming

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