A Farmer’s Dream of Diversified and Organic Farming Community

For almost two decades now, Mr. Eduardo Ybot has been producing safe and nutritious crops. Years of practicing organic farming have yielded benefits that have made him a firm advocate of this farming system.

Manong Eddie, as he is known to many, learned organic farming from his training on plant genetic resources conservation, development, and use (PGRCDU) conducted by SEARICE in his village in 1993. At the time, Manong Eddie’s fellow farmers in Barangay Inac, Magpet, Cotabato used chemicals in their farms, unmindful of the negative effects to their health and nature. “It was really hard to convince them to go organic,” he lamented.

But even he and his family were hesitant to practice organic farming at first because they knew that harvest would be lower compared to non-organic farming. True enough, the initial yield from his farm decreased when he stopped using chemicals and synthetic fertilizers. Still, he persisted and continued to promote his advocacy.

Today Manong Eddie’s farm models organic and integrated diversified farming system. His land boasts of long-term crops such as cacao and coconut, short-term cash crops vegetables, and seasonal crops such as banana and rice. He produces his own fertilizers from locally available materials, even concocting his own pesticides like the liquid smoke he uses to control insect pests and diseases for his cacao and rice crops. He also has a number of livestock such as chicken, duck and goat. This holistic approach helps ensure that his family has a sustainable supply of safe and healthy food.

Having seen the fruits of his hard work and determination, many farmers in Manong Eddie’s village have become interested in farming the same way. He has already trained several farmers who have started applying what they learned from him in their own farms. “This is my dream… to see other farmers practice and reap the benefits of organic farming,” he happily shared.

Story by: Jonna Mae Rendon Lacamento-Ducala and Guiller Domingo

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Southeast Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment

 

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Photos are contributed by SEARICE staff and partner organizations and government agencies.