The Partnership for Development Assistance in the Philippines Inc (formerly known as Philippine Development Assistance Programme, Inc.), started as a consortium of Filipino and Canadian non-government organizations (NGOs). It was founded in 1986 as a non-stock, non-profit organization, to become an effective instrument in reducing poverty and inequity in the Philippines. PDAP prides itself in having 6 member networks with more than 300 community-based members and partner NGOs. PDAP has distinguished itself in promoting and developing rural enterprises for poverty reduction and as a tool in promoting peace in conflict-affected areas.
Woman Farmer Goes Organic and Sets Example for Other Davao Farmers
Here is a proof that full conversion to organic farming from conventional farming does no harm in the farmer’s yield.
Convinced with the health and environmental benefits of organic farming, Manager Gemma Bacurayo of the Dujali Free Farmers’ Multi-Purpose Cooperative (DUFFAMCO) in Davao del Norte decided to convert her half-hectare rice field to organic practice in September 2008. The result gave her 44 bags of palay with an average of 70 kilos per bag. Compared to conventional farming, her highest yield then would only give her 37 bags.
Normally, farmers would complain about poorer harvest when shifting to full organic farming. However, Gemma disproved this during her first attempt to go 100% organic. The other good news is that she was able to reduce production cost from Php10,000.00 to only Php7,000.00.Gemma makes her own organic fertilizer. She produced 10 bags using a combination of coconut husks, banana stalks, goat manure, rice stalks, and limestone. She also prepared a spray made from concoctions of seaweeds extract, ginger, goat manure, and madre de cacao. Spraying the rice was done every week to prevent the infestation of harmful insects while maintaining the friendly ones such as the dragonflies and spiders. This also makes sure that there is a steady supply of nutrients for the rice to grow well.
As a result, when stem borer attacked the rice fields of Braulio E. Dujali, Gemma’s farm was spared. The neighboring farmers using conventional farming suffered heavy losses. Also, another remarkable difference is that the adjacent farm with the same hectarage produced only 37 bags.
In converting to organic rice farming, Gemma made great strides by not only increasing her income (Note: Did not mention income from organic farming. How much compared with conventional rice? Selling price difference and reduced production costs as factors) but also serving as a good example to the rest of the rice farmers in Braulio E. Dujali.
There are 83 members of DUFFAMCO, of which seven are organic farming practitioners and 13 are in the process of conversion. More than half (51.8%) of members are women. Gemma’s position as manager of the coop also influenced members to go organic. In fact, her farm is being groomed to be a demonstration farm by the municipal agriculture office. Gemma’s success is also the success of PRIME, which has been assisting DUFFAMCO in gradually converting to organic farming. The coop’s efforts were also boosted by the declaration of organic rice as the one town, one product (OTOP) of the municipality.
DUFFAMCO is also engaged in rice trading and marketing. Under Gemma’s leadership, it has consistently made sound operations, ensuring farmer-members of higher dividends and patronage refunds. The latest audited financial statements of DUFFAMCO revealed a total of P.99M in net surplus.