In: English and Literature

Submitted By Gorjess
Words 3633
Pages 15
Economics Department did a survey of rice farmers around the country, and found that many of them had seen declining yields per hectare over time. The only logical explanation seemed to be that the quality of the land they were planting to rice year after year was deteriorating through time. Many were getting less than 50 cavans of palay per hectare, or less than half of what had been commonly achieved in the 1960s with the Masagana 99 program.
Farmers commonly described the situation to us as "napapagod ang lupa" (the soil is tired or exhausted). It's an interesting way of putting it, and I defer to the wisdom of people who have spent the good part of their lives eking out a living from tilling the land. They must know what they are talking about.
Magsaysay's DOFS Two weekends ago, I found myself in the town of Magsaysay in Davao del Sur, witnessing a unique project of the municipal government under Mayor Arthur Davin called the Diversified Organic Farming System or DOFS. I say it's unique as I've heard of numerous NGOs pushing and practicing organic farming and sustainable agriculture. But this was the first time I was seeing a local government unit (LGU) actually embracing and propagating the concept.
What was particularly heartening here was that the municipal government's NGO partner, the Don Bosco Center, attested that it was the LGU that sought them out, not the other way around, which was the more normal experience. I know of many similar NGOs promoting sustainable agriculture who are merely tolerated, even humored, by the LGU or the Department of Agriculture (DA), but typically do not receive any serious government assistance. Betsy Ruizo of the Don Bosco Center describes their relationship with other LGUs as "peaceful coexistence" at best. As such, these initiatives remain few and relatively isolated, even…...

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