Davao de Oro

Organic farming brightens future of elderly agrarian reform beneficiaries in Davao de Oro

Angela Seth Tala

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Organic farming brightens future of elderly agrarian reform beneficiaries in Davao de Oro

IDEALS Executive Director Edgardo Ligon and NUVIARCO Manager Teody Jancinal inspect the new vermicomposting facilities, which includes cow manure and African Nightcrawler worms.

IDEALS Incorporated

The project helps elderly agrarian reform beneficiaries transition to organic farming through training and certification

DAVAO DE ORO, Philippines – What was unused land two years ago now hosts crucial vermicompost and organic farming training facilities for the Nueva Visayas Agrarian Reform Cooperative (NUVIARCO).

The cooperative’s officers received newly-constructed facilities for vermicomposting and organic farming training, along with farming supplies such as wheelbarrows, shovels, and composting worms on Friday, May 31. These were provided by the Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services Incorporated (IDEALS) during a turnover ceremony held in Mawab, Davao de Oro.

After months of construction, the new buildings are expected to benefit the day-to-day operations of the cooperative, such as the training facility serving as a warehouse and training hub for other interested farmers. 

The ceremony was the culmination of Project Guidance for Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries on Organic Farming and Sustainable Ways of Working (GROW) — the initiative of IDEALS, with support from Voice Philippines, to help transition elderly agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARB) to organic farming through business and cooperative management training sessions, and organic farm certification. 

In 2023, the first batch of NUVIARCO ARBs passed the Japanese Agricultural Standards organic farmland inspection, becoming one of the first certified organic Cardava banana farmers in Mindanao.

Since then, their bananas have also been exported to Japan—244 tons worth P2.9 million (total sales) so far, with the ARBs experiencing higher buying prices for their produce.

Jerry Sabay, NUVIARCO’s chairperson, remarked on the new facilities for the cooperative “Sa totoo lang, [mga] haligi lang ‘yan noon. Hindi ako makapaniwala na magkaganyan. ‘Yun ang pinakamagandang bigay ni Lord sa atin. Thank you sa IDEALS.”

(Actually, these were just posts back then. I never thought they would be completed. This is one of the best gifts from the Lord. Thank you to IDEALS.)

NUVIARCO has earned several significant milestones with organic farming since Project GROW started two years ago. For the elderly ARBs, Project GROW’s culmination is just the beginning of a brighter, more prosperous road. – Rappler.com

Angela Seth Tala is a program assistant for the economic rights program of IDEALS Incorporated.

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