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The “Poor Man’s” Sugar

FOR THE last eight years, Jessie Natan, 51, has been producing muscovado sugar in his farmyard in Laua-an town, Antique, the poorest province in western Visayas. Muscovado—the name could be from the Portuguese açúcar mascavar—is dark brown and slightly coarse. It used to be called the “poor man’s” sugar. Produced directly from sugarcane juice, it’s […]

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DIWAGRIMPCO’s Journey in Delivering Potable Water to Ilog Residents

Ilog is a 2nd class municipality in Negros Occidental composed of 15 barangays. The area was named as such because of its proximity to the Ilog-Hilabangan river basin. In addition, Panay Gulf lies on its left side which makes fishing one of the residents’ main forms of livelihood. Despite being surrounded by different water bodies, […]

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Cashing in on chips

The farmers’ cooperative in the North Cotabato province took a risk and a gamble by undertaking entrepreneurship with a conscience—and is now reaping its rewards. The Magpet Agro Industrial Cooperative (Magirco ) was organized in 1989 by Eufronio Zamoras and Jesus Kionisala. They put up the cooperative as a way of consolidating the local farmers’ […]

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RECOVER HOPE:  A Partnership Guarantee Fund for Safe Shelter

Thousands of families living in Cagayan de Oro City were hit by severe Typhoon Sendong (international name, Washi) on December 16, 2011.  In 2012, PEF and Cordaid partnered with local NGOs for RECOVER HOPE (Rebuilding Communities through Vibrant Economic Resilience for Houses, Organization, Peace and Enterprises). PEF directly supported three non-government organizations (NGOs), as Community […]

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All Sun, No Smoke

Kamanepla Multi-Purpose Cooperative sees the solar energy lamps social enterprise its social enterprise continuing to build the community by improving IN TULUNAN, Cotabato Province, nearly half of households have no access to electricity. They pay a lot for light—as much as Php350 a month for kerosene to light their homes and small businesses. What they […]

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Tapping the Coconut Tree to Green the Lives of Farmers

The Philippines is the second biggest coconut producing country in the world. Yet, around 60% of this agricultural industry’s farmers, workers and their families struggle for daily survival. Francisco Rubio, founder and chief executive officer of Green Life Coco Products, Inc. (GreenLife) in Tayabas, Quezon province, knows this reality pretty well.  The son of a […]

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Coco Technologies Corporation: Community nets profit

In the 1990s, the dean of a small college learned to his dismay that his region of Bicol, although rich in agricultural resources, was among the poorest places in the country. Faced with dismal statistics, Justino Arboleda, dean of the College of Agriculture in Bicol University and an agricultural engineering graduate from the Tokyo University, […]

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Balancing the Brew of the Chocolate Business

Once considered a luxurious delight just for wealthy people, chocolate has become a household treat as middle class families with disposable incomes have grown in numbers. Fortunately, too, more socially-conscious entrepreneurs are veering towards more sustainable production and fair trade partnerships, thus opening opportunities for small cacao farmers and processors. Looking to fill the fair […]

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Big dreams for Cacao Farmers in Davao

Chocolate is one of the world’s most exciting foods. From Central America—where the earliest settlers called the drink “bitter water” and revered cacao as a gift from the gods—chocolate as a drink and food additive has gained popularity as well as exotic appeal over the centuries and across the globe. Today, one of the world’s […]

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