CALABARZON, November 17, 2023 – To assist in the formation of farmers’ associations (FAs) in the community level, the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Phase 2 conducted a series of training on community organizing in CALABARZON.
Said training was spearheaded by three (3) SAAD implementers from Regional Program Management Support Office (RPMSO) on August 22 to 25, 2023. Among the one-hundred twenty (120) participants who joined the training were 85 farmers as well as representatives from Municipal Agricultural Office (MAO) and barangays officials of Brgy. Pambuhan and Villa Manzano Sur.
Essence of community organizing
Community organizing aims to enhance people’s potential for them to determine their own development and shape their own future, assist the farmers in establishing a cohesive and viable community organization that can promote the welfare of its members, and improve the overall equity in the community.
During the training, lectures on leadership, problem-solving, and decision-making were discussed. Following the lecture, team building activity was conducted through performing game called follow the leader. By incorporating the game, participants not only enjoyed an entertaining experience but also gained valuable insights in the dynamics of teamwork. It also provided a tangible and memorable way for individuals to understand the significance of effective communication, trust, adaptability, and leadership within a team context.
Along the activity the implementers explained the idea and essence of forming farmers associations. A farmers’ association is a voluntary and organized group of farmers who come together with a common purpose to address shared challenges, enhance their socio-economic well-being, and collectively improve their agricultural practices. These associations are typically formed at the community and are characterized by members who engage in various types of agricultural activities, such as crop cultivation, livestock rearing, or agribusiness.
By joining farmers’ associations, individual farmers are empowered by providing them with a network of support, access to resources, and a collective voice that can drive positive change in their farming practices.
The activity became a venue to inspire the participants that development is not an exclusive privilege, but rather, it is an opportunity available to everyone. Having said, implementers reminded the participants that change only comes from one’s own initiatives. Inspired by the training, the participants were able to gain a better understanding on the significance of collaborative efforts. With this, two (2) farmers’ associations namely Coconut Farmers, Fisherfolks, and Hog Raisers Association (COFFISERA) with 56 members and Farmers and Livestock Raiser Association (FALIRA) with 29 members were formed in Perez, Quezon.
Mr. Crispin Peñaredondo, a dedicated farmer, stressed the power of unity, emphasizing that collective strength arises when individuals come together for a common cause.
“Kailangan nating magtulungan, para sa ganun po ay makuha natin ang ating mga pangarap. Dahil kung hindi po tayo magsasakripisyo at di po tayo magkakaisa, hindi po natin makukuha ang inaasam nating pag-unlad,” said Mr. Peñaredondo.
(We must cooperate closely in order to achieve our ambitions. For we will not achieve the growth we seek if we do not come together and make sacrifices.)
To date, both FAs were registered under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on October 20, 2023. Meanwhile, COFFISERA is set towards receiving a swine project while FALIRA will focus on native chicken production in 2024. ###
Writers: Nicole C. Zarsuelo, DA-SAAD CALABARZON, Information Officer, Jayvee Amir P. Ergino, DA-SAAD CALABARZON, Information Officer