Project Location: 22 provinces and 8 cities in Mindanao, 2 provinces in eastern and central Visayas, and 2 provinces in eastern Luzon
Overall goal: Increased income and resiliency to climate change among the households and farmer’s organizations practicing agroecology.
- Livelihood and income of households and POs are improved to reduce poverty and the impacts of climate change
- Increased diversity of crops and livestock at the household level
- Agroecology is clearly understood and practiced by the farmer’s organizations
- Advocacy and lobbying leads to secured access of farmer’s to seeds, crops, land, and appropriate farming technologies
- Gender is institutionalized at all levels – POs, PCTs, Clusters, and office operations
- Strong, farmer-led, localized, participatory governance and coordinating structures and processes are functional within the Agro-Eco Philippine Network
The impact of AGILE can be assessed with the following indicators:
- Increase of income of the household and POs engaged in social enterprise
- Functional marketing outlets for organic products
- No. of households and POs engaged in product processing, value-adding, and enterprising
- Increase no. of crops planted and livestock raised at household farm/level
- No. of farmers practicing DIFS and areas (hectares) devoted to DIFS
- No. of POs trained in agroecology/DIFS
- No. of young farmers organized and no. of farmer trainers mobilized
- No. of advocacy activities conducted and no. of LGUs supporting agroecology
- No. of women and men trained on gender and no. of POs, PCTs and CCTs with Gender Committees
- No. of PCT and CCT planning, assessment and assemblies conducted
Furthermore, the impact of AGILE can also be assessed to its concrete contributions to Goal No. 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, and 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals of United Nations.
AGILE is primarily designed to increase the income and resiliency to climate change among the households and farmer’s organizations by scaling-up their applications of agroecology. It aims to optimize the accomplishments of Project AFFIRMED implemented from 2017-2019, addressing the economic, organizational and political aspects which were not given much attention in the past.
AGILE will focus in the 22 provinces and 8 cities of Mindanao, 2 provinces in eastern (Leyte) and central (Bohol) Visayas, and 2 provinces in eastern (Aurora and Quezon) Luzon. Aside from the high incidence of rural poverty, these areas are also highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
AGILE will work on 147 advanced POs – where household and PO-based enterprising activities are expected to improve – and where the 75 farmer trainers are expected to come from. It will also organize and train 120 new POs on resilient farming practices. The expansions to new POs will be done based on geographical proximity.
The developed farmer trainers from 147 POs will work hand in hand with the cluster coordinators in developing the 120 new POs. And given its strong emphasis on agroecology, AGILE will also focus in developing 934 hectares DIFS farms by the end of 2022.
As the acronym represents what it intents for, AGILE will directly benefit 267 POs, 950 households, 3,500 males, 3,650 females, and 225 young farmers.
Agro-Eco Philippines is working on “agroecological transformation.” This development perspective resonates with the idea of holistic, total human development and sustainable development, and the understanding that poverty is a multi-dimensional phenomenon which includes material poverty, powerlessness and exclusion, alienation from nature – and the loss of control over farmers’ produce and other productive resources, and non-recognition of the rights of the farmers by government agencies and bodies.
This multi-dimensional nature of poverty requires a multi-dimensional response cross-cutting the aspects of sustainable economies, knowledge building and sharing, addressing patriarchy and social norms that reinforce disempowerment of women and lack of gender education, inclusive governance, climate change resiliency, and social justice.
In the farming communities where Agro-Eco Philippines has been working for years, the dimensions of poverty are still prevalent especially among those farmers who are practicing conventional agriculture. Poverty (low income) also exists even among the farmers practicing organic technologies and transitioning themselves toward agroecological farming. For instance, many member farmers of Agro-Eco Philippines are still finding it difficult to market their organic produce, giving more advantage to the traders. While it is good to note that the initial steps are already there, it is more necessary now to scale-up these to create a more systematic way to end poverty and hunger by optimizing the elements of agreocology among the households and farmer’s organizations.
For the past 3 years, Agro-Eco Philippines has developed an interrelated and interconnected 6 core components of agroecology, which are: (1) science and practice, (2) political empowerment, (3) economic upliftment which works on household economic activities, organizational economic enterprises, and sustainable local economies, (4) environment and biodiversity, (5) gender and inclusion, and (6) culture and spirituality.
This approach has distinguished Agro-Eco Philippines from many organizations doing organic agriculture programs, and has certainly broadened the perspective and improved the capacity of the 180 farmer’s organizations reached from our previous 3-year project.
This significant improvement in our approach as compared to what we did in the past 20 years could be the reason why we were awarded by the World Future Council as one of the 14 Outstanding Practices in Agroecology in the Global South in 2019.
With this transformation happening within the whole organization, Agro-Eco Philippines is now seriously working to maximize what we already have – seeds, technologies, big network of farmer’s organizations, committed farmer leaders and trainers, consumers, and support groups to accelerate local economies, significantly reducing poverty and hunger by systematically applying the principles and elements of agroecology into our improved programs.
AGILE is a scaled-up version of Project AFFIRMED which was implemented by Agro-Eco Philippines from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2019, co-funded by FASTENOPFER and DKA Austria with Project No. LPE 16/PH-015.133993 and 329.009-D16/00298, respectively.
From its 3 years of implementation, Project AFFIRMED accomplished the following:
- Organized and trained 180 farmer’s organizations under the principles of agroecology, and trained 2,265 males and 2,331 females
- Trained 54 Farmer Trainers (FTs) where 38 of whom are DIFS FTs
- Organized 5 Cluster Consultative Teams and 20 Provincial Consultative Teams
- Conducted 31 big events such as World Food Day, Earth Day, International Human Rights Day, International Women’s Day, and Root Crops Festival participated by 3,722 males and 4,268 females
- Directly influenced the programs of 11 LGUs, addressing the rights of the small-scale farmers and indirectly influencing 120 LGUs under the League of Organic Agriculture Municipalities (LOAMCP)
- Established collaborations with National and International Organizations
- Established 102 Farmer Learning Centers with 275 resilient rice lines
- Documented 428 traditional rice varieties and farmer-bred lines
- Documented 25 resilient farming practices and 153 resilient crops and livestock
- Established 89 Diversified Integrated Farming System (DIFS) farms and developed 51 DIFS Farmers
- Worked with 5 big universities in Mindanao on resilient farming and social enterprise
- Reached 784.85 hectares devoted to organic farming
- Made our own product brand name (UMA), established our PGS, and became a member of International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM)
- Made the important steps to transforming ARC as an Agroeco Tourism Farm
- Established outlets for the organic produce of 20 POs and ARCs
AGILE intents to optimize these accomplishments to bring about sustainable development at the household, PO and organizational levels.
AGILE targets 267 organizations (POs) of small-scale and poor farmers, 90% of which are in Mindanao and the rest are in eastern and central Visayas and eastern Luzon. And the project will also organize 15 young farmer’s groups with a total of 225 members out of the target POs. This is the first project of the organization with a systematic plan to organize young organic farmers, addressing the problem of aging Filipino farmers. AGILE also targets to benefit 3,500 male and 3,650 female farmers and 950 household. Please refer to the table below to see the detailed presentation of the direct targets.
AGILE could easily achieve its targets in collaboration with the following organizations:
- International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM)
- Third World Network (TWN) – doing international campaign on farmers’ rights
- Sativa – expert in vegetables production and breeding
- World Future Council – international level advocacy on agroecology
- Institute of Women’s Studies (IWS) – provides capacity-building activities on Gender to the organization
- SEARICE – links with national and international campaigns on farmer’s rights
- National Farmers’ Seed Network – works on farmer-led campaign on farmers’ rights
- Department of Agriculture (local level) – provides assistance and equipment to the farmer’s organizations
- Department of Trade and Industry (local level) – provide technical assistance to the farmer’s organizations working on product processing and social enterprise
- League of Organic Agriculture Municipalities, Cities and Provinces (LOAMCP) in the Philippines – helps the project and the whole organization in promoting agroecology to the Local Government Units