Last 20 May 2022, MASIPAG successfully conducted a regional corn-based Diversified Integrated Farming System (DIFS) forum which was attended by 31 MASIPAG farmers from hubs located in Panay, Negros, Bohol, and Leyte. The forum featured the sharing of various methods and practices of farmers to continue to maintain various traditional maize seeds and to develop maize cultivation that does not rely on the monocropping system.
MASIPAG has launched a program to breed traditional corn or corn breeding in order to hold and strengthen the farmers in economic matters and in addition to the re-introduction of traditional seeds. This program was developed during a consultative workshop with MASIPAG farmer leaders which aims to strengthen the ability of POs to re-handle and maintains high corn production while simultaneously enhancing community initiatives and efforts in the development and conservation of GM-free seeds and appropriate technologies.
In 1998, a corn lad development committee was formed to spearhead traditional seed rescue activities and goals. In Visayas and Mindanao, a series of training was conducted on the system of collection and identification of traditional corn varieties, maintenance, reproduction, and development of collected traditional corn varieties or TCV. But the widespread use of hybrid and genetically modified corn caused by the aggressive promotion of local agencies and foreign corporations has led to the decline and loss of traditional corn seeds (genetic erosion) that could have been used as parent materials for the development of the characteristic of corn.
Despite this, the expansion of MASIPAG’s membership to indigenous communities in recent years has provided new perspectives and perspectives to revitalize and intensify the corn program. IP communities are repositories yo of indigenous seeds including TCVs and related cultural management practices. Also, TCV is a potential source for organizations belonging to the MASIPAG network for the enrichment and diversity of corn seed collection.
After the said activity, farmers who attended the forum from Negros hub also visited Tay’ Dodoy Camasa’s farm; they were amazed and inspired by their perseverance, diligence, and family practice to make the rocky upland farm in upper Kabankalan productive and prosperous.