Three years ago, Elmer Daplin, 43, a farmer from New Clarin, Bansalan was desperately looking for right solutions to his decades-old problems: seeds, food, appropriate technologies, favorable market and sustainable sources of income. But now, he and the members of their organization are proudly practicing organic agriculture – food secured all year round and producing quality black rice sold in Davao Del Sur and Davao City at a very affordable price to make it accessible to everyone, not only for the upper middle class and the elite.
Elmer was seemingly hopeless and wanted to liberate himself from conventional agriculture which made him more dependent from commercial seeds and synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, with almost nothing left from his produce to provide the basic needs of his family before the next cropping season comes. He was not alone. The members of their organization have same the situation. And this is not an isolated story as millions of small-scale farmers out there still entangled with this.
But things started to turn into his favor when he started to practice organic agriculture introduced to him by Uldarico Galenzoga, the Coordinator of Agro-Eco Philippines in Davao Region thru a community-based training facilitated by the Provincial Agrarian Reform Coordinating Committee (PARCCOM) in Davao Del Sur.
Elmer patiently followed the principles of the network he then knew for a short period of time only, and Uldarico regularly visited his farm, shared some seeds to him http://agroecophilippines.org/sharing-the-seed-of-the-forbidden-rice/, and constantly challenged him which he positively accepted. He actively participated in the activities and meetings of the network where he met several farmer trainers like Diego Dela Cruz who taught him about rice breeding (https://sehen-und-handeln.ch/content/uploads/2018/05/BROT_0120_DE_FO_200213.pdf) and Teodulo Badillo who proudly shared his proven effective innovations in diversified farming and wider planting distance which Elmer is already applying now in his 1 ½ hectare rice farm. You can read more about Teodulo Badillo in the links below.
An increasing no. of farmers is practicing now what Elmer started in their community 3 years ago. This includes Judith Lanuza, the Manager of LOMAIMCO in her 0.8 hectare (8,000 square meters) farm, and several other members of the organization.
“The land area devoted to organic agriculture could increase by 100 hectares in the next three years if like-minded consumers and organizations would continue patronizing our produce,” says Elmer.