MASIPAG is a farmer-led network of people’s organizations, NGOs and scientists working towards the sustainable use and management of biodiversity through farmers’ control of genetic and biological resources, agricultural production and associated knowledge.
To improve the quality of life of resource-poor farmers.
For MASIPAG, rice is life.
In 1980s, the glaring spread of rural poverty in the Philippines prompted NGOs and a group of progressive scientists to initiate nationwide consultations with farmers to determine the impact of HYV on small farmers and other issues related to the rice industry. With the involvement of other farmer support groups, these series of consultations culminated to a national convention in mid-1985 dubbed “BIGAS Conference” or Bahanggunian Hinggil sa Isyu ng Bigas. Here, MASIPAG was born and its first project was born primarily to break the control of local as well as multinational fertilizer and pesticide companies, multi-lateral rice research institutes and distribution cartels over the rice industry.
Over the last 17 years, MASIPAG has been at the forefront of development struggles in the Philippines pursuing, among other things, a holistic approach to development, community empowerment, and people’s control over agricultural biodiversity as a contribution in the over-all effort of improving the quality of life of small farmers.”
MASIPAG by the numbers
As of 2013, MASIPAG has
563 member peoples’s organizations
38 NGO partners; 20 church-based development organizations
30,000 farmer members in the POs
3 farmers using MASIPAG seeds, for every farmer-member
188 trial farms (maintaining a minimum of 50 traditional rice varieties)
2 national back-up farms
8 regional back-up farms
1,313 traditional rice varieties collected and maintained
1,288 MASIPAG rice
506 farmer-bred rice
67 rice farmer-breeders
12 corn farmer-breeders
In response to adverse agroclimatic conditions brought about by climate
change, MASIPAG has documented Masipag rice, farmer-bred rice and TRVs with
7 flood tolerant varieties
17 drought tolerant varieties
19 saline (saltwater) tolerant varieties
23 pests or diseases resistant varieties