Not Your Ordinary Farmer

While most farmers simply rely on seeds, chemicals and synthetic fertilizers being sold in the market for their farm production, Mr. Eduardo Edullantes or Manong Wado is busy experimenting on breeding various crop varieties that would suit his need and preference.

Manong Wado did not earn a degree in plant breeding from a university yet he has already bred two rice varieties, EE1 and Wado 3, which can withstand changing weather patterns and produce good yield. He developed the two varieties using the knowledge and skills he acquired from his training in the farmer field school (FFS) on Participatory Plant Breeding (PPB) and Participatory Varietal Selection (PVS) conducted by SEARICE in 2000.

Manong Wado’s experience continues to be enriched through the experiments he conducts in his own farm. He has become a firm advocate of organic farming, making his own fertilizers from compost and fermented plant juices. The pesticides he uses on his crops are also of natural ingredients that are indigenous in the community.  With the help of his wife and their children, he breeds other crops such as bitter gourd, squash, cucumber, eggplant and lady finger (okra). The seeds they get from the harvests are kept for the next planting seasons. His family shares the produce from their garden with their neighbors.

At present, Manong Wado leads a group of FFS graduates who organized themselves into the Kamarahan Rice Vegetables Farmers Association. Their enthusiasm continues to draw more farmers who are becoming interested in plant breeding and organic farming. They have even invited the local government council to sit in and participate in one of their workshops with the hope that the council learns and spearhead similar initiatives for other farmers in the municipality.

With a smile of contentment in his face, Manong Wado shared, “Masaya ako na natupad ang matagal ko nang pangarap na makatulong sa ibang magsasaka” (I am happy that my dream of helping other farmers finally came true).

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.