Prior to the Yolanda calamity, a big percentage of Region 8 farmers hardly practiced organic farming. Our farmers seem not to have accepted what science and technology could do to their farming activities, e.g. solve endless complaints about high cost of farming, fertilizer-wise, and the realization of their desire for higher harvest from agriculture products. We have been left behind, except for the few practicing farmers, even by smaller provinces like Camiguin. Thanks to their Mt. Timpoong Hibok-Hibok Ecotourism Association (MTHEA), now one of latest farmer-beneficiary of the Philippine-Korean project under the ANSOFT or Asian Network for Sustainable Organic Farming Technology. Already registered with the D.O.L.E., whose members are predominantly women folks, has now been actively engaged in organic farming like making fertilizers and bio-pesticides and are now successfully planting/harvesting organically-grown sweet potato, sweet peppers, corn, tomatoes, lettuce, and eggplants among others.

The MTHEA farmer-beneficiaries have been recipients of various trainings on organic production, including “how to conserve the soil by showing contour farming with various types of hedgerows used and mix of cash crops and perennials grown in between, organic fertility management practice and other agricultural practices like multiple cropping, crop rotation, crop diversification, integrated farming to reflect agro-biodiversity.“

It is hoped that the Leyte Province program of encouraging the farming of high-end vegetables, also adopt what MTHEA has ventured into. One advantage of the association is having entered into an organic farming village partnership with the Korean-based Asian Food and Agriculture Cooperative Initiative, Inc., of which the Philippines is a member.

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