EXPERIENTIAL LEARNINGS IN CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION AND ADAPTATION THROUGH ORGANIC AND ECOLOGICAL FARMING IN THE PHILIPPINES Pablito Malabanan Villegas Managing Director KASAMA KA ORGANIK KOOPERATIB (KKOK), and Owner-Social Entrepreneur, Villegas Organic and Hobby Farms, Malvar, Batangas, Philippines [email protected] Key Words: Sustainable, Organic and Ecological Agriculture; Climate Change; and Resiliency; Food Security and Poverty Reduction, Organic Farm Clustering

Pablito M. Villegas

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Page 1: Pablito M. Villegas



Pablito Malabanan Villegas Managing Director

KASAMA KA ORGANIK KOOPERATIB (KKOK), and Owner-Social Entrepreneur, Villegas Organic and Hobby Farms,

Malvar, Batangas, Philippines [email protected]

Key Words: Sustainable, Organic and Ecological Agriculture; Climate Change; and Resiliency; Food Security and Poverty

Reduction, Organic Farm Clustering  

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INTRODUCTION In the Philippines, rural and agricultural communities remained poor and impoverished.

ü  35% of households (17.5 Million) in rural communities are poor (Dy, R.T. 2015).

q High vulnerability of rural areas to the harsh impacts of

climate change (heavy rains and floods, drought and severe to erratic changes in temperature, humidity and wind velocity including earthquakes)

q Huge proportion of the rural population and its labor force

(>28 to 30%) is heavily dependent on agriculture and micro-enterprises.


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q Typhoons with heavy rains, ocean surges, earthquakes as well as droughts cause serious damage to the country’s farmlands.

q Economic losses- US$ 5.8 Billion. Agriculture sector worst affected; total economy is challenged by its vulnerability to climate change.

ü  In 2013 alone, the Department of Agriculture estimated that damages caused by the devastation and damages of Typhoon Haiyan (local name is Typhoon Yolanda), to agriculture, forestry and fisheries and properties amounted to Billions of USA Dollars with no less than 6,300 dead people; displaced 650,000 people & destroyed 1.1 Million Homes.

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q on-farm adaptive research trials and best practices q consulting and management advisory services [of

the Villegas Organic and Hobby Farms and Sustainable Agriculture and Organic Farmers’ Cooperative- KASAMA KA Organik Kooperatib (Kalipunan ng Sustenableng Agrikultura at Magsasakang Kooperatiba or KKOK) in Malvar, Batangas Province] to address climate change effects and impacts in agriculture and farming systems.

This presentation deals with:

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The issues being addressed include:

1) food security and access to available, adequate, affordable, safe and health promoting foods;

2) water sufficiency and resilience to drought and prolonged dry season;

3) environmental and ecological stability of an agro- ecosystem;

4) human and ecosystems health and healthy/wellness lifestyle;

5) climate change impacts and its resiliency for increasing and sustaining agricultural productivity and

enhancing farm income

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Malvar, Batangas, Philippines

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Ø In VOHO, water from the fish pond, when it becomes murky, is pumped out and used to fertigate the crops and fruit/agro-forest trees.

•  The recycled and re-used water is rich in bio-nutrients for enriching the soils and conserving water resource.

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Ø  The farm maintains plant biodiversity. •  More than 80 species of plants and

weeds are found in the farm. Also insect predators.

•  T h e f a r m b o u n d a r i e s a r e

landscaped with edible gardens planted to medicinal and culinary herbal plants and dragon fruits.

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•  Plants with known pesticidal properties such as neem tree, jatropha, makabuhay, lemon grass, citronella, marigold, kakawate, spring onions, lagundi, banaba and oregano as well as hot chillies, garlic and onions are made into bio-pesticides and used as deterrent or repellents (bio-crop protection) for the control of insect pests and plant diseases.

o When fermented with molasses or brown

sugar, it is also used as bio-fertilizers and crop protection concoctions.

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Citronella Marigold Neem Tree

Jatropha Banaba Makabuhay

Lagundi Madre de cacao

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•  The use of rhizobia, azospirillum, mycorrhiza and trichoderma as well as effective and indigenous micro-organisms (E/IMOs) technologies from the University of the Philippines at Los Banos and elsewhere are also being commercially adopted in the nucleus and satellite farm clusters.



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•  Nitrogen-rich plants, such a s k a k a w a t e ( m a d r e decacao),malungay(moringa),trichantera(madre de agua), mulberry and ipil-ipil (leucaena) leaves as well as colapogonium, renson i i , s t y lo santhes legumes, are harvested, chopped, and used as feed supplement to the free range chicken and turkey growing for meat and egg production.

Kakawate Gliricidia sepium

Malungay Moringa oleifera

Madre de Agua Trichanthera gigantea

Mulberry Morus alba

Ipil-ipil Leucaena leucocephala

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•  Oregano, mint, basil, tarragon, and other herbs like lagundi, yerba buena, and malungay leaves are crushed for its juices and/or fermented and mixed with feeds and used as organic feed and medicine to free-range poultry.

Oregano Origanum vulgare

Basil Ocimum basilicum

Tarragon Artemisia dracunculus

Yerba Buena Mentha arvensis Linn

Lagundi Vitex negundo

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Ø The farm maintains its commercial on-farm applied R and D trials, through an in-house scientist and some organic technologists and scientists on call, where the production technology and practices are continually validated in the farm, thus making these technological innovations and best practices more location-specific (access to UPLB alumni volunteers).

•  For example, the use of natural predators (parasitoids) and glericidia-based cum virgin coconut oil and deumataceus concoctions has been efficaciously proven to be very cost-effective in controlling the highly virulent and menacing coconut scale insects (CSI).

•  Its applications plus the wind blowing and water saturation

effects of Typhoon Glenda in 2013 saved our 2-hectare coconut farm from CSI total damage with minimal cutting of dead trees. New coconut harvests have started this mid-year.

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Ø All these technological advances and practices have been transferred to, and adopted by, a network of at least 30 satellite farms that are members of the KKOK network and more than 100 associate small farmers’ members and trainees of the cooperative.

•  These are being institutionalized through the KKOK’s Nucleus and Satellite Organic Farm Clustering (NuSOFaC) scheme and Value Chain Optimization modalities (Villegas et al 2012).

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Ø  The cooperative has also been provided with small grant by the Korean Federation of Sustainable Agriculture (KFSA) and IFOAM in 2011 for the improvement of its learning and training facilities for organic agriculture technology development and promotion. Photo of KFSA officials & IFOAM Pres. Andre Leu.

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Ø  In addition, a small grant has been granted by the Saemaul Undong Forum of Korea and the Cheongdo-Gun in 2015 for the propagation of guyabano and cacao or cocoa in Malvar, Batangas.

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Ø  An ongoing project on the Resettlement of Informal Settlers with Employment and Upliftment (RISE UP) with the Aboitiz Group of Companies through the Lima Land Inc is now under implementation with the setting up of an organic farm village with the 30,000 employees of the Lima Land Industrial Technology Park as the local market outlet of organic produce at prices equivalent to supermarket prices of non-organic produce. Strategy for reduction of carbon foot prints (GHG emissions)

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  Typical Field Layout: 3000 m2 Urban Organic Vegetables and Fruits Cum Free Ranged Poultry Technodemo Gardens :  





                            40  m                     :      






    1 2  


1 3  



1 4     10  


6   4   5    

                            1 5        



                        1 3          


                                                                Entrance    pathway  





1.   Bahay  kubo  ,    Floor  area  (3  x  4  m)  2.   Mushroom  house/beds  3.   Seedling  nursery  4.   PlasAc  covered  plots  (leFuce  and  high  value  veggies)  5.   Display  area  of  poFed  plants/herbs      ,  benches    made  of  

steel  bar,  6  pcs  (  1  x  3  m)  6.   Trellis  plants,  area      7  x  7  m;  3  plots  of  2  x  7  m  7  N  tall,  

with  0.5  m  distance  between  plots  7.   Free  range  poultry  egg  type,  foraging  area,  6  x  12  m,  

house  2  x  3  m  8.   Free  range  poultry  meat  type,  foraging  area,  6  x  12  m,  

house  2  x  3  m  9.   Herbal/Culinary  herbs  10.   Medicinal  herbs  11.   Vegetable  plots  (  A)  12.   Vegetable  plots    (B)  13.   Vegetable  plots  (C)  14.   Vegetable  plots  (D)  15.   Vegetable  plots  (E)  16.   Laborers’  quarter  17.   Two  rows  of  papaya,  underneath  are  vermi  beds/

composAng  area  18.   One  row  of  lakatan  banana,  underneath  vermi  beds/

composAng  area  19.   Two  rows  of  dragon  plant  with  vermi  beds/composAng  


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Ø  The ABS-CBN Kawad Kapamilya Foundation, Inc. also benefited from the cooperative’s consulting, advisory and management services through the completion of the feasibility study and start-up implementation on the revival of their Iba (Zambales) Organic Farm and commercialization of the Eco-Tourism business.

Ø  Focus on building the basic foundation of organic agriculture such as organic materials and inputs production, strict observance of the principles of health, ecology, care and fairness.

Ø  Transformation of the Organic Farm into Agri Tourism Complex with lodging and organic food menus, trekking and bicyling lanes. Indigenous people’s organic food gardens and crop-poultry/livestock technology demonstrations, learning and training center facilities.

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Ø  The Cooperative was instrumental in preparing a consortium-based Feasibility Study and Business Plan for establishment of Coconut Processing Plant for Non-traditional Coconut Products like Virgin Coconut Oil using at least 20,000 nuts per day from the naturally and organically grown coconuts of very poor farmers and laborers in San Juan,Batangas,Philippines. Organized the Cooperative. Direct Market contract with Japanese trading firms.

• For climate change resiliency, the promotion and adoption of crop-livestock diversification via multi-storey farming systems under c o c o n u t g r o v e s w i l l b e simultaneously implemented along with the setting up of organic composting and water harvesting and catchment facilities.

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  Ø Garden ni Nanay (MY MOTHER’S GARDEN) Organic

Vegetable Production Project o  The advocacy concept of this project is to plant

10-15 most healthy and day-to-day veggies around the house of the beneficiaries to bear enough healthy vegetables for family needs.

o  Nanay (My Mother) is a key to this project – because

she takes care of the daily needs of the family and she has time to tend a small garden with no money output

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Major lessons learned, key barriers to organic technology transfer sustainability. Recommendations:

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1.  Farm supervisors and laborers have been equipped with knowledge and skills in organic agriculture and farming systems. We can not teach immediate attitudinal or value change.

q  major setbacks include: negative attitude and unsatisfactory working habits of lowly educated farmhands; non-practice of the principles of care and fairness, inadequate concern for sustainable and ecological agriculture technologies and farming systems.

q  Thus, labor-intensiveness of organic farming is further

constrained by additional labor costs resulting in lower labor-output ratio and generally higher labor costs attributable to relatively inefficient labor inputs.

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Adoption of family-based (husband, wife and children) farm labor entrepreneurship through profit sharing scheme. Organic farm entrepreneur provides the land, capital, technology and overall management while the family (husband and wife) provides the labor and farm operations’ management. 50:50 sharing on net revenues (after deducting operating costs and capex recovery from gross revenues). Includes livestock (cattle, buffalo, pigs) dispersal scheme.

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2.Organic farm yields tended to be much lower than conventional or chemical farming at the onset, particularly in organic in conversion or in transition farms, since the build-up of humus and organic matter takes time (from Dead Soils or Killing Fields Farming System to Living Soils Farming System).

Lessons Learned: •  Alleged cheaper food prices under chemical agriculture

are basically market and price distortions measuring only for the financial or accounting prices (which are further distorted by agriculture and food subsidies in developed countries and dumping prices of their food surpluses).

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•  Food prices do not include the environmental or ecological costs nor the health and wellness costs and other social costs of chemically-based industrial agricultural systems (Mendoza T.C. and P.M. Villegas 2014).

•  Balanced fertilization and bio-pest management as starting point in organic conversion or transition regime.

•  Bureau of Soils and Water Management Findings: Initial 50-50 chemical fertilizer- organic fertilizer mix resulted in 20 to 25% yield increments and 10-15 % reduction in cost of production. Increasing organic inputs over 3 cropping seasons resulted in much higher yield increases.

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3. Due to lack of economies of scale and lack of easy access to organic markets, farmers find it difficult to overproduce due to problems in handling perishable organic produce like vegetables, herbs and fruits.

Recommendations: •  Proactively promote and institutionalize the community-

supported agriculture (CSA) where the consumers and end-users could directly link with the organic farm producers who must be organized at the community level.

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•  Farmers must be given the access to post-harvest

handling and village-based processing (agro-based industrial clustering).

•  Community-based food processing industries as well as

basic harvest and post-harvest handling with easy access to cold chain technology of the DA Philippine Center for Post-Harvest and Agricultural Mechanization Systems (PhilMech).

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4. Finally, as a matter of recommendation, there is an urgent need to adopt the organic farm cluster development approaches and methodology of the KKOK KOOP to achieve economies of scale and facilitate access to market and fair trade through the establishment of Nucleus and Satellite Organic Farm Clusters (NuSOFaCs) and its supply and value added chain (value chains and links) optimization modalities (Villegas, P. M et al 2012).

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PABLITO M. VILLEGAS [email protected]