Generally, we would visit the doctor perhaps 2 to 3 times a year compared to our farmers that we are very dependent on to have them plant crops for us to eat thrice daily. Being a farmer is sometimes not a choice for some. It is a way to survive. There are skills and knowledge needed for one to start. During this pandemic, we have felt the turbulence of poverty and uncertainty. Eventually, people started being more aware of the importance of growing your food in your backyard - to put food on the table. The same situation is not far from our upland vegetable growers in Daraga, Albay who are farmers not because of choice.
We can not talk about industrializing our agriculture without talking about its foundation: our farmers. Pinoy farmers are the most hardworking citizens in the country due to their lifestyle and the slow progression of the industry. In a cruel stroke of irony, most farmers are unable to afford the food they provide. In our country, farmers are landless, living on less than normal from the basic needs, and neglected. We can see this when we look at our upland vegetable farmers.
Reaching out with Education and Supply.
Committed to helping the poor farmers, Owen Navia headed and gathered together leaders of Làgit Mountaineers, Antigo Backpackers, The Bicol Adventures, Triskelion Outdoors Tribe, and the Alimatok Mountaineers Group headed out to the outskirt area of barangay Mi-Isi 4501 of Daraga in Albay to help the small community. Joined by the Department of Agriculture Mrs. Meljie Matocinos, shared her best insights and significant updates on best practices in sustainable farming.
The outreach program meant to educate and support the "maralita" in the barangay. A few supply items were handed out to help the small chosen barangay members. Important tools, seeds, fertilizers, were given. They were given short and brief lectures with the latest studies of better agriculture practices to make them ready. All this effort is to provide them hope and to uplift the morale of getting back on track to grow and harvest their food. Also, the barangay was provided with masks, alcohol, face shields, and the knowledge of the COVID19 virus. To help them protect themselves from the spread of COVID19 in the area and what to do to protect their community when the need arises. The collected funds to provide the supplies came from the hearts of different people from private and government individuals who were invited by Owen.
Owen Navia is also a farmer himself and an active mountain climber who discovered the barangay’s indigent condition. We would like to thank him for inviting us to have been part of this outreach movement.
Small Projects For Humanity
Being committed to helping indigent farmers is not only an act of humanity. It is also on act of obeying God to help others whenever or wherever possible. These small project outreach has shown the literal way of helping people - teach them how to fish. We have posted this article to motivate others to do the same. You can also contact Owen Navia on his Facebook account when you want to donate and start helping many more indigent farmers specially in the area of Bicol.
Or start for yourself a fulfilling project that will help farmers and other people who would love to be new farmers of the new normal. More than ever, farmers will need all the support they can get in these challenging times.
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