Back to Basics: Farming That Truly Cares
By Walter Bimuyag
Despite technological advancements, the fundamental purpose of farming hasn’t changed throughout the years. It is meant to cultivate or produce crops that will give and sustain life.
Today, however, farming has been greatly influenced by the increasing demand for food due to population growth. To cope with this growing need, scientists have developed pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers to increase production. While it’s good for business, we all know that the case isn’t the same for the environment.
A long time ago, farmers used a system that does not utilize harmful chemicals. An example of this farming style is Organic Farming.
Organic farming has numerous environmental, economic and health advantages. These benefits were explained by Leonardo Camo, the current president of the Victoria Organic Farmers Association (VOFA) in Oriental Mindoro.
For over 10 years now, Camo has been a practicing advocate of organic farming. He mastered the method through various farming conventions and personal practice. In his backyard, he cultivates high-grade organic fertilizers with the help of his “vermi friends”, the African night crawlers.
“I want to give my customers healthy organically grown crops,” shared Camo. He spoke of the stark differences between organic and conventional farming systems – including the effects of chemical sprays, health of consumers and impact to the environment.
“It is not only how conventional farming affects the health of the soil but also the waters and its living organisms.” He explained that chemicals harm Naujan lake in which fisherfolks find a living.
Camo is among the delegates to the Biodiversity Fellows Program (BFP), a training program for environmental leaders to protect the Naujan Lake National Park and its sub-watersheds. After the BFP training, he envisions an even greater impact of his back-to-basics farming advocacies as he shares this knowledge to a wider community.
Haribon’s Biodiversity Fellows Program is made possible with funding and support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
This article is made possible by the generous support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of Haribon Foundation and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.