Image above: Members of the Seed Savers Group during the recent farm visits.

Two weeks ago our Seed Savers Group spent the entire weekend together. They visited each others’ farms on Saturday and participated in a cooking demo led by local chef Agunaiya Cloche on Sunday. Below are reflections on the importance of this work from one of our volunteers, a Filipina college student, April Rhoss.

“As traditional farmers, we want to contribute to the protection of our environment and support food security,” said Cesar Galvey, a member of the recently formed Seed Savers Group, regarding their goal as organic practitioners.

Cesar galveys planting system

Cesar Galvey explains planting techniques during a farm visit!

Filipino communities are starting to recognize the importance of preserving our natural environment. This movement is led by organic farmers like Cesar Galvey. Farmers and consumers are becoming  more aware of the many benefits of organic farming including: health, livelihood, education and most importantly, the protection of the natural environment.

In Health: Production of chemical-free products will benefit the growers, consumers, and natural environment.

As Livelihood: Critics say that organic products have lesser yield. However, in the market people are willing to pay more for the produce, because they are aware that the crops are much safer and healthier. This allows organic farmers to not only practice sustainable farming, but earn more money for their labor.

For Education: The farmers are being educated through seminars regarding the different subject matters in organic farming. This widens their knowledge on farming which they can add to the skills they posses and use on a daily basis.

As Natural Environment Protection: Organic farming is an environmentally friendly practice. Organic farming improves soil maintenance, produces less pollution to nearby water systems, and promotes the health and well-being of the entire natural environment. The Seed Saver program also helps the growers to protect their soil as they are able to avoid planting genetically engineered seeds that contain dangerous chemicals, which have large negative impacts on the conservation and protection of the natural environment.

With all these benefits, organically-propagated, regionally-adapted seeds are essential to the on-going support of organic farmers like Cesar Galvey. The Seed Savers Program of Friends of ENCA Farm has created an excellent opportunity for the traditional farmers of Tublay to gain direct access to organic seeds. Cesar and his colleagues are incredibly grateful for this access!