VEGETABLE seed producer and supplier East-West Seed Co., Inc. (EWS) said its Knowledge Transfer program is being positioned for the use of indigenous peoples and smallholders.
In a statement, EWS said it signed a partnership agreement with Assisi Development Foundation, Inc. (ADFI) to develop vegetable gardens with 80 Mangyan Alangan families in Mindoro, as part of a six-month project which began in June.
Under the extension program, which is part of the Zero Extreme Poverty 2030 Philippines-Partnerhip for Indigenous People Project, EWS will provide training as well as a vermi-composting area and nursery while ADFI will provide agricultural kits.
Vermi-composting improves soil quality by making earthworms process organic waste.
EWS Philippines Knowledge Transfer Manager Girlie F. Banaña in a statement said that aside from quality seed, good agronomic practices are also needed to make farming profitable.
“For farmers to grow their business, they need to be equipped with knowledge and skills to improve their productivity,” she added.
“Knowledge Transfer can also contribute long-term economic development in rural areas, and provide better access to high-quality and safe-to-eat vegetables for consumers.”
EWS and ADFI previously partnered in the Yaman sa Gulayan program in Javier, Leyte from 2013 to 2014. The project provided assistance to 244 beneficiaries.
EWS and ADFI also extended assistance to 1,000 smallholder farmers affected by Typhoon Yolanda in 2014 and 2015.
The EWS began Knowledge Transfer in 2000 in partnership with the Department of Agrarian Reform, since branching out to over 100 extension activities assisting 67,962 smallholder farmers in the Philippines and overseas.
EWS also entered a partnership with the international development group Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid (Cordaid) to aid 150 farmers in Mandaue City in developing climate-smart vegetable production through the construction of a farm field school.
EWS began its collaboration with Cordaid in 2015, providing extension services on climate-smart and sustainable vegetable production in Cebu, Palawan and Samar.
The partnership has so far helped more than 600 farmers. — Anna Gabriela A. Mogato