Farmers’ Field Day in the MASIPAG Trial Farm in Central Philippines, a Platform of Farmer and Student Solidarity for Food and Seed Sovereignty

October 10, 2023

by MASIPAG National Office

VISAYAS – Together with farmers from Capiz and Northern Iloilo, the Farmers’ Field Day (FFD) was successfully held at the established Rice Trial Farm at the MASIPAG Farmers’ Agroecological Research Farm (backup farm) in San Dionisio, Iloilo last October 7, 2023.

FFD is a long-held tradition within MASIPAG wherein farmers’ organizations open their trial farms to other farmer members and non-members. The key objective of FFD is to show, evaluate, and pick the best performing rice varieties in their trial farms in accordance to the needs of their respective community – yield, climate and pest resiliency, and communal preference among others. To ensure genuine food and seed sovereignty, Farmers’ Field Day are being done every cropping season in their trial farms.

The said activity was enthusiastically participated by twenty-five farmers, rice breeding trainees and students. During the field day, the group selected the top ten best performing rice varieties from the fifty rice varieties that they have planted in their trial farm. The seeds on the other hand were sourced from the MASIPAG Provincial Back-Up Farm in the region where it actively conserves more than 300 traditional, MASIPAG, and farmer-bred rice varieties coming from all around the country. Moreover, these seeds are mainly contributed by MASIPAG farmers coming from the different parts of the Philippines effectively establishing a farmer-led seed system and revitalizing the millennia old tradition of farmer-to-farmer seed exchange.

Being the genuine field of the farmers, the MASIPAG trial farms are the farmers’ way of conserving, nurturing and maintaining their seeds effectively making it as a living seed bank of the farmers. It is important that trial farms are continuously maintained and managed by farmers’ organizations so that they have their own seeds adapted to the present environment specifically their adaptability and resistance to pests, diseases, and the overall effects of climate change.

Working hand-in-hand with the other sectors in ensuring seed security and seed sovereignty as well as food sovereignty and food security, trial farming and farmers’ field day are only of the many scientifically innovative works of MASIPAG farmers in crafting a truly farmer-led and pro-people food system and agriculture.  

#AgroecologyNow #FoodSovereigntyNow

#16DaysOfGlobalActionOnAgroecology2023

#FarmerScientistPartnership #FarmerledResearch