Written by the Web Team
Empowering the farmers and increasing their income amidst threats of climate change is possible through community shared agriculture (CSA) or bringing together the farmers and consumers.
CSA, a concept being advocated in the country by the Good Food Community (GFC), assures smallholder farmers of a stable demand while giving the urban dwellers, especially in Metro Manila, easy access to “the healthiest, best-tasting harvest.”
Charlene C. Tan, GFC president, said during her recent talk at Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), that the system has encouraged farmers to produce more and better quality vegetables and the consumers to experience “happier, healthier, more fulfilling way of living.”
Farmers subscribed to their program get funding from consumers, who in turn, receive a weekly basket of fresh, seasonal, organic produce from a designated drop-off point for 12 weeks. They also receive information on the month`s harvest and tips on how to prepare the vegetables, which are packed and priced at PhP250-P400 a week.
“Through CSA, farmers in our communities such as in Tarlac, are assured of demand despite market and environmental risks,” Tan said.
As among the world`s top 10 most vulnerable countries to climate change, the country is threatened with inadequate food supply; and resilience in farming communities, Tan said, is grown by investment in people and partnerships.
“We need a new system based on integrity and solidarity. Through CSA, farmers and consumers develop a deeper and more meaningful relationship. Consumers subscribed to us get to meet the farmers producing their food and experience how they are produced,” Tan stressed.
Meanwhile, PhilRice executive director Eufemio T. Rasco had committed to support CSA through the institute`s Intensified Rice-Based Agri-Bio Systems program, which aims to develop a sustainable, ecological efficient, and socially acceptable systems that will generate PhP1 million annual income in a hectare.