Isabela is one of the province in the country where most of the people lived through farming. Last 2013, the province was struck by Typhoon Lando where 18,000 farmers affected losing 33 Million worth of crops. Last 2016, the Provincial government declared state of calamity due to El Nino. Francisco “Mang Kikoy” Cacal, a resident from Isabela who primarily relies on agriculture to support his eight children. He’s been greatly affected by the calamity (typhoon and drought) that damaged his crops where there came a time that he lose his hope and wants to quit.
The Foundation of Sustainable Society Inc., (FSSI) have way for farmers to solve their problems like Mang Kikoy. The FSSI is a social investment organization committed to support the development of sustainable communities through social entrepreneurship. Since 1995, they have developed social enterprises with triple bottom lines in marginalized communities that are owned, managed and operated by the poor, economically sound and environmentally-friendly. The foundation teaches approach on organic farming and the benefits it would bring. They provide learnings through the form of training to help farmers learn more about the process of organic agriculture. FSSI also provides farming supplies to calamity-affected farmers to relieve the impact of natural calamities.
Not only trainings and farm supplies, FSSI also gave financial and technical assistance to the Payoga/Kapatagan Multipurpose Cooperative where farmers lend capital for their farm production. FSSI helps them to sustain their cooperative and eventually became a social enterprise to benefit more farmers like Mang Kikoy. The cooperative also produces organic compost “green friend” which is a more affordable and reliable fertilizer than those with chemicals.
Mang Kikoy was amazed by the benefits of organic farming. He experienced himself the wonders of engaging in organic farming, the benefits in the soil, environment and people’s health. He was able to help his youngest to finished high school and her daughter Alma to finish her course on Hotel and Restaurant Management. He was able to save money and be able to lift his family out of poverty.
Reference and Photo Source: https://www.rappler.com/move-ph/131753-organic-farming-thrives-isabela