Chris, is a Systems of Rice Intensification (SRI) Farmer in Dao, Capiz, he is the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Jose Robinson Enate and considered himself as farmer by birth though he poses a Bachelor Degree in Industrial Electronics Technology and was a Brgy. Kagawad for almost 5 years.
Before he became one of the promising SRI farmers of the country, he once had doubt about this technology in organic farming. He started practicing organic farming after Yolanda Typhoon crashes all their livelihood. During the aftermath of the super typhoon, the IRelief Foundation came to their place to help them start a new chapter of their lives. All the while they thought that this organization is bringing financial assistance but instead, IRlief brought SRI to give them the knowledge and inputs so that they can start through it. At first, only his father and siblings have the interest to attend the trainings and seminars because Chris is busy doing his duty as a barangay official. He was busy then attending the needs and assisting the delivery relief goods to their fellow victims in the community. But the fact was, he is also doubtful about the technology, but then, he became curious because of the stories being shared by his father and siblings that made him finally decided to attend.
Year 2015, he started applying what he learnt to his 150 square meters of land. He made and used organic concoctions for his land preparation. After two years, he converted his 3 hectares land into organic because he realized that conventional farming is expensive compare to organic farming. He used to spend even more than Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) on chemical inputs. Another good reason of his going into organic is that, his father is diabetic, so he realized that he wants to produce a healthy food for his family. And as to his observation, many children have different serious sickness and diseases such as cancer that lead to their death. With these realizations, he wanted to produce an affordable and chemical free product that the people can buy without hesitating.
Like other organic farmers, Chris also experiencing difficulties and challenges along the way. The main problem of his farm is to control the weeds, and to lessen that, he is using a “weeder” and have to spray a natural weed control twice a week with or without pest as their protocol. From his produce, he markets different variety of rice with a market price ranging per kilo from Php 50.00 for white rice, Php 60.00-65.00 for red rice, and Php 70.00 for black rice.
There are a lot of things that Chris shared and talked about with his farming experiences. Mentioning those problems encountered, he also shared some of his traditional and cultural farming practices handed down from older generations that until now he is applying to his farm. To mention these practices, he made sure that whenever he visits his farm his stomach is full, believing that his rice/plants is connected to what he feel; uses biodynamic calendar; able to calculate an forthcoming disaster through the sound of birds depends on what sounds they created; and the actions of the trees and the bamboo. He shared one phenomenon that when the bamboo shoot is taller than the mature one, means that a certain calamity will happen. Another observation he made that when the fruit trees are not blooming, then rice production is not also abundant as these plants relate to one another. He added that a farmer must have a positive feeling or feeling great when going around his farm because this positive condition will be transferred to the plants.
It is sometimes difficult for him to manage his time because aside from being a full-time farmer, he manages the farm alone and doing the labor sometimes. Aside from that, he is also a member of different organizations that open many opportunities for him. He is currently one of the Board of Director Members of DAO System of Rice Intensification Farmer Association; President of Region VI SYSRICE Alliance; Auditor of DAO’s Municipal Agriculture and Fishery’s Council; BOD of Nasunogan Farmers Association DAO Capiz, Chairman Committee in DAO Organic Farming; and a Rice Breeder and Practitioner of Indigenous Knowledge System.
He was selected as one of the ESSA Council Member which was introduced to him by Ms. Dina Ruth Daliva or much known as Dindin. He shared that Dindin invited him to attend a meeting and to share his practices as one of the farmers who adopted the SRI Technology taught by Dindin’s organization. It was later on, that SEA, Inc. sent an invitation to the Mayor of DAO, Capiz about the farmer association and Chris was sent to attend the event as Dindin also encouraged him to do so. This is then that he became part of the ESSA.
Because of his active participation and dedication on organic farming, Chris became an Organic Awardee in Dao, Capiz. And with these different organizations that he belongs, he found his purpose and mission through organic farming. He has a positive vision that the fruit of his labor will reap a better and greener world to live with and enjoy by the next generation. One of his visions is to create an organic rice variety which can avoid pest without degrading its quality and can have a marketable price for the consumers. His dreams visualize a larger picture for the next generation. He wants them to experience what he experienced during his childhood such as playing with the rice mud, running around the ground without thinking about the weather, and so on.
“Younger ones, please help us.” This is the message he wants to tell the younger generation. Mr. Christoper Enate, an Organic Rice Farmer, is asking for the help of the future’s hope. Stand and do something to save the Earth specially the farmers through sustainable and resilient agriculture.