Almost three years ago, Uldarico “Fr. Jun” Galenzoga, our Coordinator in Davao Region gave 3 panicles of Korokan, a traditional variety of black rice which most of us never heard about before to Elmer Daplin, a farmer from Bansalan, Davao Del Sur who at that time was starting with organic farming. Out of curiosity and some doubts, he planted it in a few square meters of his 1 hectare farm. But his doubts turned into certainty and his curiosity into conviction when he saw the outcomes of his hard work, coupled with innovations and positive outlook.
A year after, Elmer shared few panicles to Nonoy Astronomo and his wife Luz, a farming couple from Maco, Davao De Oro who wanted to untie themselves from conventional farming and to engage with organic farming more seriously – planting the best adapted seed and asserting their rights on it, using appropriate technologies, nurturing our common values, and following the sustainable development approach Agro-Eco Philippines and numerous local, national and international development organizations have been espousing for years.
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At present, Nonoy, Elmer, Rene, Nonito, Arthur, Insek and Nida are providing the increasing no. of organic food enthusiasts and sustainable development advocates in Davao City and Davao Region with fresh, quality, and most importantly, affordable black rice. Thanks to the private organizations, government offices, individuals and families who continue to patronize the produce of these farmers.
Black Rice was forbidden to the common people in ancient China due to its high medicinal and nutritional properties, making it exclusive only to the Emperor. But now it is the staple food of many low and middle income families. Many thanks to the farmers!