9th September 2016

While Glen's black rice is growing nicely and should be ready to be harvested in a couple of months :-) ....

... Our team is conducting interviews for the farming activity assessment ! With Fidel, Mariz, Meriam and Elsa of course.

30th August 2016

In early August we reported that two trial farms were opened in the low-lands, near sitio Bugtong. One managed by Ramil Dimayacyac and one managed by Pastor Felix Avenido and Francesco Taculoy.

Unfortunately, after 10 days of almost non-stop rain, due to monsoon season and the side effects of a typhoon, the young and still very fragile seedlings were washed away by the rain and floods...

The pictures below show Ramil's trial farms 2 weeks after sowing and after the rain : only 7 varieties out of the 50 that were originally planted in early August are left.

7 varieties out of the 12 that were originally planted in early August are left.

The area of Tatay Keko were entirely flooded, none of the 38 varieties survived. So they are all being replanted.

Despite the disappointment, the farmers are not giving up, they know the importance of selecting and multiplying their own varietal strains if they want to convert towards organic. The technicians and farmers from MASIPAG, coming on Sept 6 for a workshop with the farmers, will bring a new batch of seed samples. In November (beginning of next cropping season), the same 50 varieties will be replanted to pursue the experiment.

In fact, growing robust varieties that are adapted to the area is very important in organic agriculture. It is one of the main strategies to reduce vulnerability to pest, diseases and extreme climate episodes like drought or heavy rain.

We are now replanting and you can see the seed beds of the trial farm just after sowing :

Elsa with Francesco Takuloy “Tatay Keko” (above) and with Pastor Felix.

Pastor Felix and Fidel.

1st August 2016

In full cooperation with local farmers, we have identified and settled for three different sites for rice production trial farms in Barangay Udalo. Our goal is to observe and analyse how the different varieties of rice react in the chosen areas, all of which representing a totally new environment, and subsequently select the ones which are the best suited (i.e. showing the most promising results and proving to be the most resistant). Once we have selected the best varieties, we will be able to multiply the seeds and create our own cultures. As a result, the farmers will be able to grow their own organic rice.

Different rice varieties

Ramil Dimayacyac (left) will be managing the first trial farm and testing 13 different varieties of rice

Pastor Felix Avenido and Francisco Taculoy (« Keko) will be managing the second trial farm and testing 22 varieties (from left to right : Keko, Bina and Pastor Felix)

Pelo Bosnian will be managing the third trial farm in Latag. Unlike the other trial farms in the valley, 50 varities will be tested as « upland rice » (non-immerged rice fields), which is the traditional way of growing rice in mountainous slope areas

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