A community-based people’s initiative to promote the use of environment-friendly technology and innovative ways of caring for and conserving the resources in the environment has caught the imagination of micro and small-scale enterprises in the southern Tagalog region (Luzon) of the Philippines.
The initiative is known by its acronym, F.A.R.M.S.(Farmers’ Agricultural Resources and Management Services). Participating in this program are community farmers of selected towns in the provinces of Laguna, Batangas and Quezon.
Recently, the group of micro and small-scale farmers’ enterprises that are dedicated to advancing natural and organic farming practices have showcased their products (including fresh farm produce) at the F.A.R.M.S. resource and training center, which had been set up at a property located at San Fransiso highway, Tagaytay City (province of Cavite).
The two-hectare land property is ideal for locating training and demonstration workshops as well as other related activities, including ‘one-stop market place’ for organic and naturally-grown vegetables, fruits, spices and herbs.
Conceptualized and designed by Ms. Aleli Pansacola; president of Daila Herbal Community Enterprises and woman-leader and innovator of various wellness products, the F.A.R.M.S. resource and training center is hub of activities conducted by and for community enterprises and women from rural communities.
Participating in the development of the land property are various community-based farmers and enterprises by contributing materials and labor as well as ideas in setting up an integrated area for showcasing products and spreading the practical ways of farming without harming the environment and use of chemical inputs. The first-stage of land development which was recently inaugurated includes: Kiosks for selling/merchandising products and produce from backyard farms; pavilion which serves as business center and training hall for trainees from the communities; bamboo huts for accommodation; campsite for those who wish to set up tents instead of using the bamboo huts; activity center for socials and bonfire parties; and gardens for showcasing practical ways of natural and organic farming.
According to Ms. Aleli Pansacola, “the place will promote the use of environment-friendly technology and advance the women’s advocacy for natural and organic farming practices, environmental resources protection and management.” She added that through the Daila network of community enterprises, she hopes “to bring to the awareness of more people in more communities the benefits and advantage of natural farming methods as well as the need to take care of the environment which is an important capital of future ganerations.”