Bring learning into the community and encourage sharing.
Rice extension workers participated in a field tour to a PhilRice’s PalaYamaNayon site in Pampanga to help them replicate the success story in their respective communities.
The 11 participants from extension, research, and academe are part of the RiceUpPH Training conducted by the project dubbed as Improving technology promotion and delivery through capability enhancement of the next generation of rice extension professionals and intermediaries or IPaD.
PalaYamaNayon, derived from the words palay (rice), yaman (wealth), and nayon (community), is a collaborative work pioneered by PhilRice that aims at enabling positive and relevant change in farmers’ perceptions, attitudes, practices, skills, and life chances with rice-based agriculture as the driver of inclusive and sustainable growth in rural farming areas. PhilRice in partnership with the Department of Regional Office III (DA-RFO III) implemented the initiative in Pampanga through the development of community-based agro-enterprises.
During their visit in Brgy. Pansinao, Candaba, the RiceUpPH trainees were introduced to the members of Pansinao Parent Agriculture Association (PPAA) and Genesis C. Martin, an agriculturist from DA-RFO III.
The field tour became an avenue for Martin to share the experiences of his community in establishing the PalaYamaNayon site in April 2016.
During the planning workshop, Martin and his team noted that open-field burning of rice straw and corn stalk was a common practice in their community. This practice was turned into an opportunity for farmers by using the rice straw in mushroom production.
They also organized a series of hands-on training on mushroom production, goat raising, and vermiculture. Training on rice-based food products, rice art workshop, and mushroom processing were also conducted to empower the community.
Through the PalaYamaNayon project, the farmer-cooperators were organized and the PPAA was formed.
According to Martin, focus and partnership played major roles in the success of the project.
“If you want to pursue a community development project, having a partner agency is important as you will need guidance in every step of the way. PalaYamaNayon is an enterprise development project and we decided to focus on one enterprise, which is mushroom production,” he said.
PPAA Secretary Mercy Barredo said that the project helped them earn additional income. She revealed that the marketing of their produce has also become easier as the project has become popular among farmers.
“We have been making a monthly inventory of our income from our mushroom enterprise since May. In December 2016, we earned P11,000 from oyster mushroom alone, and P5,000 from selling fruiting bags. Before we joined the project, we were skeptic if we could market the product owing to the unpopularity of oyster mushroom in our area and some people from our neighborhood discouraged us. But now, we have to improve our production to meet the demand and more people have expressed their interest to join our association,” said Michelle Gonzales, PPAA auditor.
The trainees were toured in the improvised growing house of PPAA that stores 6,000 fruiting bags. The community aims to upscale their mushroom production by extending their growing house in the households of each member. At present, one member houses an additional 4,000 fruiting bags.
The community in Candaba does not only produce and market mushroom. The community becomes a learning and sharing place for others.
In support to the establishment of the said enterprise, PhilRice has also produced a technology bulletin on mushroom production. The material can be downloaded through this link.
For more information about mushroom production, farmers may call or text the PhilRice Text Center at 0920 911 1398. ###