Sharing Community: From Philippines to Brazil Towards Farmer Empowerment

October 25, 2023

by MASIPAG National Office

Sharing community is alive even among organizations from different parts of the world.  A testament to this was the lively and meaningful exchange between MASIPAG and Centro Ecologico (Brazil) when Gabriel Meirelles visited the MASIPAG National Back Up Farm (NBUF) in Nueva Ecija on October 20-21, 2023.  As fellow partner organizations of the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC), MASIPAG and Centro Ecologico have long been promoting agroecological systems of production and community strengthening.  The negative impacts of the Green Revolution provided circumstances that led to the establishment of non-government organizations such as MASIPAG and Centro Ecologico which, together with the farmers, present alternatives starting with participatory research.  The research, having significant and meaningful results, created favorable opportunities for farmers to regain control over seeds, technology, and agricultural systems. 

Gabriel’s visit was an opportunity for MASIPAG and Centro Ecologico to share how each works with small farmers organizations including the development of small-scale agroecological production, processing, livelihood activities, and Participatory Guarantee Systems.  Additionally, the visit became a space for MASIPAG and Centro Ecologico to deepen their understanding of how both organizations support local initiatives of farmers and promote the importance of raising the ecological, socio-cultural, and political awareness and empowerment by people’s assertion of farmer-led and farmer-centered agricultural research and programs.  During the visit, Gabriel was able to meet the scholars of MASIPAG Luzon’s Agroecology School who, shy at first, generously shared aspirations, learnings, and even challenges that are faced by the youth and agriculture sector today.  Gabriel then shared Centro Ecologico’s program in assisting farmers with sustainable agricultural systems, processing, and marketing of ecological products.

Although Gabriel’s visit to the NBUF was short, the exchange of knowledge and practice was rich. According to him, the shared practices of MASIPAG are not far from the practices of Centro Ecologico and it reinforces his feeling that both are connected and together in the agroecological movement.  Surely, this is just one of the many visits and exchanges between MASIPAG and Centro Ecologico. Who knows, maybe next will be a more in-depth discussion about PGS – an organic certification truly by and for the farmers. 

A huge thank you to doc Chito Medina, Laercio, and Ana Meirelles for making this exchange possible.

#GreenActionWeek #SharingCommunity #SSNC