A closer look at organic farming communities

Just recently, the group visited nearby barangays for community scoping, and for general information regarding the residents’ practice of organic farming.

Last September 13th, the group went to Barangay Timugan, particularly Magnetic Hills. The group had the chance to interview Myrna Ubaldo, Vice President of the Samahan ng mga Magsasaka sa Paanan ng Bundok Makiling. According to her, the farmers within their barangay practice orchard farming, where the farmers plant various plants or crops, such as fruits, tropical plants, and vegetables.

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She also shared that the farmers sometimes share with each other their harvests in order to have a wider variety of crops to sell. They communicate with each other primarily through face-to-face communication. They assign a tagahatid-balita to every home whenever announcements are made. Their crops are usually sold in the weekly Organic Market at the Los Baños Municipal Health Office. Ubaldo also said that their practice of organic farming has not been covered yet by Los Baños Times or any newspaper, and that she is not sure on whether the organization as a whole approves of the publicity.

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The group also visited Barangay Malinta, one of the most active of the members of Los Baños Association of Organic Vegetables and Fruits Growers. The team had the opportunity to conduct an interview with Emily Alforja, Secretary of the association. It turns out that Alforja used to write for The Los Baños Times. Dissemination of organic farming technologies, methods/techniques is primarily through seminars often organized by PAMANA, Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD). At present, there are 15 members of the association that are from the barangay. Moreover, Alforja said that the land used by the farmers is under a certain Eusebio family.

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Some members of the group also got to talk to farmers from Barangay Bagong Silang during the Bañamos Festival on September 16th.

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Today, September 30th, Aira and I went to Tuntungin-Putho to inquire about organic farming practice in the barangay. We were assisted by the personnel in the barangay hall and referred us to potential resource persons in the locality.

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