Funding an Innovative Urban Organic Farming Project among Informal Settlers in Pintong Bukawe San Mateo Rizal Philippines
These two villages with its mountainous and eco-tourism ambiance, is the closest mountain to visit by the Metro Manila residents that is why during weekends hundreds of city people and other neighboring provinces visited these places for recreation, exercise, biking, dirt-riding, training and cockfighting.
These villages are also an agricultural area where we can see wide farming areas that needs to be cultivated, however, most of the agricultural land here were land grabbed by few elites and those in authorities depriving the rights of these informal settlers for an access to earn a living on farming activities on idle agricultural lands. According to RA 6657 “An Act Instituting an Agrarian Reform Program”. This means, that the welfare of the landless farmers and farmworkers will receive the highest consideration to promote social justice and to move the nation toward sound rural development and industrialization, and the establishment of owner cultivatorship of economic-size farms as the basis of Philippine agriculture.
On this basis, KOFAM Training and Development Services in partnership with Rotary Club of Manila Cosmopolitan (RCMC) joint ventures in creating a livelihood project among informal settlers in the area for income-generating program through Innovative Urban Organic Farming by lobbying the rights of the informal settlers who are also a landless farmers for the farm-owners to lend portion of their farms to these informal settlers for planting and productions of high valued crops.
The nature of this project as already mentioned above is all about Innovative Urban Organic Farming which involves community organizing, lobbying to farm owners to lend a small piece of farm land, drawing of agreements and that the project proponents shall do all these including outsourcing of project funds so the informal settlers and landless owners shall be mobilize, organize and equip with technical trainings and entrepreneurship for productivity.
Also, the KOFAM building facility in the area shall serve as center for this project where community groups participating in this project will meet, plan together, be trained, and center building will serve for post-harvest facilities for packaging, showcase and selling of urban farm produce to visiting customers and other bulk buyers.
It is seen that these informal settlers will generate sustainable income from these innovative urban organic farming. They will not only learn conventional farming but innovation in producing vast produce of cash crops and high valued crops in a small space through effective farming technology such as hydroponics. aquaponics, vertical gardens, microgreens, pots and pet bottles gardening, etc. Families involves in this project shall learn innovation, farm technologies, entrepreneurships and financial management and leadership. Thus, creating a responsible and productive citizen of the country that doesn’t need to depends on employment. They now become self-reliant and that through their agri-business program they can influence other families and communities to do the same.
In the long run, this project shall boost farming technologies and contribute economic advancement in the area. KOFAM and RCMC shall serve to facilitate the implementation, progress and success of this program.
This project was already pre-developed and starting its mobilization and some planning meetings in the last 3-weeks, although in a form of Innovative Urban Farming Competition through the formation of small groups in the community to work as team. So far, there are now 15 group entries with members of 10 person per group. KOFAM and Rotary Club of Manila Cosmopolitan contributed their own funds to start the said introductory project. The competition award will be concluded on April 15, 2021. And, we are looking forward that this small urban farming project will be a jumpstart of a bigger urban farming project like what we submitted here for sustainability of the recipients and economic development in the community.