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Bronwyn White 's Profile
Bronwyn White
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Lismore, NSW, Australia
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finca de los Perezosos "lazy man´s farm" El Expejo - Permacultura Replanting a Rainforest Mushroom Cultivation in Small Scale geocasa jaguare permacultura tandil Instituto Ná Lu´um Paititi Institute for the Preservation of Ecology & Indigenous Culture Red de Guardianes de Semillas The Love & Haiti Project My Hands and Heart in Haiti GiveLove - Ecological Sanitation Haiti Ti Lorien, Haiti The American Society of Permaculture Code Green Community Conscious Abundance Church gardens for the local poor The Farm Ecovillage Training Center Permaculture and Resilience Initiative - Detroit St. James the Apostle Urban Agriculture Project Jardin Collectif de Saint-Jérôme - Collective Garden of Saint-Jerome Food Forests for Pine Ridge Reservation Sanctuary One Church/Community/Food Bank Garden Expeditions For Life ACIL Experimentation Site Community Cultivators Bee Keeping to the masses - Philippines Finca Friucion - Permaculture Land Cooperative Urban permaculture farm Casa Cosmica Victoria Natural Reserve Horowhenua Kaikai Indigenous Rainforest Keepers Sierra Permaculture Guild Permaculture Neighborhood Center CABIOKID
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Community-Owned Compost and Biofertilizer business – Philippines.

Posted by Bronwyn White almost 12 years ago

This project serves a lot of purposes in the local community of farmers here in the Philippines. It supports a local NGO's education and training programs in sustainable agriculture practically and at the same time generates income to keep on delivering t

Last year I spent 10 months working within a Filipino NGO (PAGBAG-O) that is a federation of people's organisations made up of small-scale farmers. There are approximately 2000 farmers who are members of this organisation which has been implementing programs to help them develop sustainable livelihoods. It's been an interesting experience to work within a local, grassroots organisation where I've learnt a lot as well as shared knowledge and collaborated in developing new projects. So I was very happy to return this month.

The project I'm currently involved with is a community-owned compost and biofertilizer business. I have enjoyed being a part of this project because it connects and supports many of the existing programs and creates the potential for PAGBAG-O to become more financially autonomous. The 'Sustainable Resource Management and Development' program of PAGBAG-O is actively training farmers with knowledge and practical skills to implement more sustainable farming. The 'Community Based Enterprise Development' program assists members to improve their income through access to micro-finance, adding value to products, diversifying crops for sale and producing more food for use in the home and local community.

The 'compost and biofertilizer business' project is designed to use raw materials that are sourced from local farmers, creating an additional income for them that is particularly useful in less productive months. These raw materials are processed at the demonstration farm site of PAGBAG-O in sizeable quantities to produce a range of inputs for sustainable farming including compost, vermicompost and foliars for pest management and fertiliser. These products are then sold back to local farmers to support their transition to more sustainable agriculture at a much lower cost than synthetic products. The farmers involved benefit from the additional income from supplying raw materials, the cheaper price of farming inputs and the profit from the business goes back to run the programs of the NGO which supports them through training and empowerment of their communities.

Many farmers in the area use synthetic fertiliser and are reluctant to deviate from practices they rely on for income. The PAGBAG-O demonstration farm plays a critical role in shifting perception and practice amongst these farmers, for whom 'seeing is believing'. The demonstration site is being developed in conjunction with the compost and biofertiliser business (which is located there) and incorporates Permaculture design as well as a number of locally appropriate practices and strategies.

The learning centre at the demonstration site will make it possible to deliver more practical demonstrations of sustainable farming products, practices and systems. Ongoing application of the compost and biofertiliser products on-site will demonstrate to farmers the gradual improvement in quality of the farm and assure them of the benefits of these products. Many rural communities are on a downwards trajectory as natural resources decline, incomes fall and people leave the area. Transitioning to sustainable farming and resource management provides the means for rural communities to flourish as opposed to deteriorate and migrate to urban areas.

The government of this province (Negros Oriental) is supportive of organic agriculture, but at the community level there are a number of obstacles in changing the behaviour of farmers. Many of these obstacles are overcome by the involvement of a group who can reduce the risk for small-scale farmers (who don't like to try new things that may threaten their small income) through developing quality products, demonstrating their effectiveness and providing support to communities in adopting more sustainable practices.

I hope this project will be successful and benefit the small-scale farmers of the Philippines and also provide an example that can be replicated to benefit farmers elsewhere and encourage the uptake of more sustainable farming. If you would like more details please get in touch with me. :)


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Robert Brothers
Robert Brothers : Thanks for the great report on an inspiring project! We've started a wiki news service called Good News for the Earth, and we are looking for news reports on projects just like this: a win-win for the local people and for the Earth. We are also looking for people to tell us about them. What you have written here is more like a feature article, but if you could write a news story based on this same material, then we would love to have it posted on our two sites, www.GoodNewsfortheEarth.org, and http://www.facebook.com/goodnews.fortheearth Or I could post a link to this story just as it is. The headline might go something like this: "Community-owned compost and biofertilizer business supported by Filipino NGO and 2000 small scale farmers." If you would like to help us collect similar stories to the one you wrote about here, please get in touch. Thanks so much for what you are doing! Robert Brothers Posted almost 12 years ago

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Øyvind Holmstad
Øyvind Holmstad : My wife is from Cebu, the neighbor island. Nice to know about your project!
Posted almost 12 years ago

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My Badges
Consultant Aid worker Pdc teacher
My Permaculture Qualifications
Other course verified
Permaculture Research Institute of Australia Internship
Type: Internship
Verifying teacher: Geoff Lawton
Other Teachers: Nick Huggins, Paul Taylor, Lesley Byrne, Gordon Williams
Location: Permaculture Research Institute of Australia
Date: Apr 2011
Permaculture Design Certificate
Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
Teacher: bert peeters
Location: Cabiokid, Philippines
Date: Jun 2010
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