Reaping the seeds of solidarity: Farmers remain steadfast in the promotion and practice of sustainable agriculture in Mindoro

May 24, 2022

by MASIPAG National Office

MASIPAG remains committed to promoting sustainable farming, empowering farmers, and expanding its membership amid intensifying crises in climate, food, and agriculture. The continuous application and development of concepts and practices in sustainable farming by MASIPAG member-farmers have been integral to the growth of its members, their organizations, and the community, especially in the province of Mindoro. 

On farmer’s continued practice and development of sustainable agro-ecosystems, processing, and marketing in Mindoro

Farmers from the KKHMB (Kausahan Kalamalayan Hanunuo Mangyan in Bulalacao) and SHPB (Samahang Hanunuo Pangkabuhayan sa Binle) in Bulalacao town, Oriental Mindoro, new member peoples’ organizations (POs) in Mindoro, staged trainings on soil fertility management and alternative pest management–vital components of a diverse and integrated farming system. The POs currently utilize foliar spray in vegetable crops planted in their backyard and kaingin. They also practice seed exchanges in their community. 

Moreover, various people’s organizations continue to practice collective management and leadership of their organization’s processing and marketing efforts. These include the processing and marketing of BULAC-FA’s salabat powder, MFIRDA-SAMAKANA’s salabat and turmeric, OM-Magsaysay’s muscovado, wood vinegar, and fruit wines, and SAPALA’s bignay wine. To improve their practice in business management, a business planning training and workshop was held with BADOFA, where the organization produced a business plan for their proposal to establish a sari-sari store in the village of Balangabong, in the town of Calintaan, Occidental Mindoro.

On the organizational development work in Mindoro thru the practice and promotion of sustainable agriculture

Last February, an organization of indigenous peoples based in Brgy. Naibuan, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro became a new member of MASIPAG in the Provincial Coordinating Body (PCB) of Mindoro after a discussion of MOSA (MASIPAG Orientation on Sustainable Agriculture). The organization welcomed MASIPAG’s strategies and programs.

PCB Mindoro also maintains its consolidation efforts by staging regular meetings at the PO-level and PCB-level, where organizations report emerging issues, assess the work and activities done, and set out plans. The PCB also hosted a discussion on organizational development with the use of modules so that farmer-leaders could better facilitate and resolve issues concerning organizational development with other farmer-members and improve linkaging work with other organizations.

On the farmer’s advocacy work in Mindoro

PCB Mindoro aims to conduct community-based action research regarding the effects of Glyphosate use on farms, farmers and residents in specific communities in Mindoro. The farmer-leaders of PCB Mindoro initiated this research to identify issues brought about by the widespread Glyphosate use and raise awareness to the public about its negative effects on the environment, health, livelihood, and culture of indigenous farmers. There have already been observations, e.g. death of livestock and poultry near farms where Glyphosate is used, and initial engagements with target communities. 

Sa kabila ng mga nakababahalang banta sa mga magsasakang ng Mindoro hindi sila pinanghihinaan ng loob dahil alam nilang katuwang nila ang MASIPAG sa patuloy na paggabay at pagpapaunlad ng kanilang mga kasanayan tungo sa mas matatag na bukas (Despite alarming threats to Mindoro farmers, they further strengthened their resolve knowing MASIPAG will continue to guide and facilitate development of their capacities towards working for a a better tomorrow),” said farmer-member of the Regional Management Team of Southern Tagalog-MIMAROPA Robert Estuesta.

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