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.
For decades, 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 2016, MASIPAG has
512 member peoples’s organizations
41 NGO partners; 20 church-based development organizations
around 30,000 farmers reached in 63 provinces
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
More than 2,000 rice varieties collected and maintained:
600 traditional rice varieties
1,299 MASIPAG rice
506 farmer-bred rice
70 farmer rice -breeders
12 farmer corn -breeders
More than 100 volunteer farmer-trainers
In response to adverse agroclimatic conditions brought about by climate
change, MASIPAG has documented Masipag rice, farmer-bred rice and TRVs with
12 flood tolerant varieties
18 drought tolerant varieties
20 saline (saltwater) tolerant varieties
24 pests or diseases resistant varieties