Monthly Archives: April 2014

‘Farmers deceived by GM corn farming’

ROXAS City — Farmers from Antique, Capiz, Iloilo and Negros Occidental claimed to have been deceived by technicians from genetically modified (GM) seed corporations and the Department of Agriculture (DA) into cultivating GM corns.

Ten years ago, the farmers were told that planting GM corn will increase their production and improve their income, and thus improve their quality of life, their representatives told DA officials.

Since GM corn production comes with huge volumes of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, the farmers entered into a loan with private financiers, with their harvest as payment at the financiers’ dictated price, they said.

Melchor Asupardo from Dumarao, Capiz, said GM corn farming contaminated their traditional and open-pollinated corn varieties.

Private traders sell only GM corn, leaving farmers with no other option but to plant GM corn seeds, and the farmers got hooked to acquiring more debts they could no longer pay, he said.

Because of unpaid loans, most of the farmers lost their lands to their financiers, he said.

Glyphosate herbicides being sprayed on glyphosate-tolerant GM corn also caused the farmers health problems and prevented them from planting vegetables near GM-corn fields, said Asupardo.

The farmers also told DA officials that they wanted to stop cultivating GM corn already and asked for “substantial and programmatic support” to convert into farming non-GM corn and other crops.

They said they wanted to pursue organic farming, but they need government support, considering that they have also been victims of super typhoon “Yolanda.”

During a dialogue with the farmers at the DA regional office in Iloilo City on March 28, DA regional director Larry Nacionales committed to provide alternative livelihood to the farmers.

He promised that DA Region 6 will provide them with white corn for seed production, vegetable seeds, livestock, and farm machineries such as corn sheller, hammer mill for feeds processing, and carabaos./PN


Job Opportunity: Administrative and Finance Officer

Administrative and Finance Officer

MASIPAG (Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura, Farmer-Scientist Partnership), is a nationwide network of farmers’ organizations, scientists and non-government organizations working to empower resource-poor Filipino farmers through their control of seeds and biological resources, agricultural production and technologies, and associated knowledge. Our National Secretariat office is based in 2611 Carbern Ville, Los Baños, Laguna.

We are looking for a dynamic, self-driven individual who is committed to make his/her contribution to development work.

We are in need of an Administrative/Finance Officer with the following qualifications:

• Graduate of BS Accountancy
• With at least 1-2 years experience accounting/financial management
• With good interpersonal and communications skills
• Willing to travel and work beyond office hours
• Based in Laguna, or willing to relocate in Los Baños, Laguna
• Can work under pressure with minimal supervision
• Knowledge in computerized accounting system is an advantage
• Teamplayer

His/Her duties and responsibilities include:

• Supervise the financial and general services operations of the Secretariat
• Manage staff benefits and services
• Ensure staff compliance with established administrative policies and procedures
• Ensure efficient use of secretariat’s financial and material resources
• Consolidate the network’s budget
• Ensure accuracy of financial statements and other related documents
• Prepare financial reports for management and funding donors

Salary is at par with other organizations.

Interested parties can send their application to on or before June 15, 2013 addressed to:

Dr. Chito Medina
National Coordinator

MASIPAG on The Guardian article on climate change adaptation

The Guardian quotes MASIPAG’s Dr. Chito Medina on how agriculture can adapt to climate change. The article discusses the opposing technologies espoused by heavily funded International Rice Research Institute (“cutting-edge science”) and organized farmers’ groups (“low-tech sustainable farming”), including MASIPAG.

Click here to read the full article.

MASIPAG’s sustainable agriculture have been an effective adaptive mechanism to climate change, as documented in 2009’s Food Security and Farmer Empowerment study. The chapter on the climate change outlook can be found here.