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2023 Annual Report:
Focus on the Philippines

Philippines 2023 Results

Project Spotlight: Upscaling of the Gulayan sa Palayan at Pagnenegosyo Toward Prosperous RiceBIS Communities

Funding partner: Philippine Rice Research Institute
(PhilRice)

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While rice is a food staple in the Philippines, it brings income to farmers only once or twice a year. Vegetables, which mature more quickly, provide more frequent harvests that can stabilize rice farmers’ income flow. Crop diversification is therefore gaining popularity among smallholder farmers as a means to advance their sustainability and resilience.

Building on three previous partnerships with PhilRice, this project exemplifies the integration of vegetables into rice cultivation, offering a promising avenue to optimize land productivity and improve livelihoods. The initiative brings a multitude of advantages for farmers, including higher profits, enhanced food security, and expanded market opportunities as farmers tap into the lucrative potential of vegetable cultivation and gain flexibility through marketing both rice and vegetables.

Ronel’s Story: From Facebook to the Field

Young farmer Ronel Cañetan Lausa stands in front of his tomato field. He is holding the mobile phone through which he first connected with EWS-KT.

Four years ago, when he was 28, Ronel Cañetan Lausa left his factory job. Hoping to earn more income, he returned to his family’s agricultural roots and began to farm rice.

When he started to grow vegetable crops alongside his rice, Ronel found inspiration and valuable insights on the Facebook page run by EWS-KT Philippines. He avidly absorbed technical updates, project news, and success stories. He also tapped into the resource-rich VeggieTap mobile app, accessing information on crop-specific vegetable production whenever the need arose. With each interaction, he nurtured the hope that EWS-KT would extend its reach to his community in Negros Occidental.

When news of an impending RiceBIS project in his locality reached Ronel, his enthusiasm knew no bounds. Guided by EWS-KT staff, he eagerly embraced new technologies and methodologies introduced through the project. When he encountered challenges such as pests and diseases, Ronel found comfort in the support provided by EWS-KT—and was able to limit the damage through the meticulous monitoring methods he had learned.

Ronel has now successfully cultivated hot pepper, sweet pepper, and eggplant, contributing substantially to his family’s income. Seeing the benefits in his own life, Ronel also advocates for increased vegetable production among fellow farmers. His journey stands as a testament to the transformative power of knowledge and local support within the realm of agriculture.

Philippines Partner Projects in 2023

Learn more about our work in the Philippines.

 

Read the full 2023 Annual Report.