Philippine Farmers Want to Make Own Choices Toward Sustainable Farming

Apr. 17, 2007

Farmers’ Conference: Making our own choices towards sustainable farming

Fersal Place, Malakas St.,
Brgy. Central District, Diliman, Quezon City
April 17, 2007, Tuesday, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM

The rice program of the Department of Agriculture is pinning all its
hopes on the hybrid rice technology to attain rice sufficiency in the
Philippines. The government has allotted a large slice of its budget
to this technology that was touted to be the breakthrough to improve
rice productivity. However, the country continues to rely on rice
importation to meet the domestic needs and the government has
constantly blamed the typhoons that hit the country to the sorry state
of the rice farming sector.

Some rice farmers, however, who have disproved the promised potentials
of hybrid rice, fearlessly tried other traditional and improved
farming practices. With the help of Rice Watch and Action Network (R1)
and other non-government organizations, the farmers documented the
successes of different sustainable farming practices, such as, System
of Rice Intensification (SRI), biodynamic farming, Diversified and
Integrated Farming Technology (DIFT), Masipag Rice Technology (MRT),
and Plant Genetic Resources Conservation and Development and Use (PGR

The case studies were compiled in a book to show the comparable
advantages of these farming methods in terms of yields, lower cost of
production, better-tasting quality of rice for the consumers and
higher income for the farmers. The book also presented the mapping of
the farmers’ use of seeds, sources of seeds, types of fertilizers and
pest control methods around the country.

PROGRAM (topics in the morning)

Presentation of documentation findings of sustainable rice farming
practices by Arma Bertuso
Open forum with the practitioners of sustainable farming:
Biodynamic farming Don Bosco Diocesan Youth Center
System of Rice Intensitification Obet Verzola from SRI Pilipinas
Women’s participation in sustainable farming Ama Bertuso and
DALUYONG (women farmers’ group in Nueva Ecija)
Masipag Rice Technology Leonardo Rosario from Philippine Network
of Rural Development Institutes (Philnet-RDI)
Diversified and Integrated Farming Technology Shubert Ciencia from
the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM)
Plant Genetic Resources Conservation, Development and Use
Southeast Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment

REFERENCE: Joyce E. Sierra 0917-5221065

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