Relief for sugarcane farmers of Negros Occidental

After two months of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), hunger took its toll on the lives of the sugarcane farmers in Negros Occidental. In La Castellana and Kabankalan, Negros Occidental, farmers who are in the middle of their cropping season have been disrupted by the lockdown, with some already planting sugar canes in time for the […]

The young scholar from the sugar sector

The young scholar from the sugar sector

While the youth in agriculture is a rarity in the industry — with the average age of Filipino farmers at present is 57 to 59 according to the Department of Agriculture — there are still people, like Jonel Ybañez, 23, who are determined to revitalize the embattled sector. Jonel is a member of Crossing Ibos […]

Fostering Sunrise Industries

The ability to identify gaps in and respond to the market is key to any enterprise’s success. Global Organic and Wellness Corporation (GlowCorp)—a marketing company set up by eight farmer groups—leveraged the health benefits of commodities grown in the Philippines to become a social enterprise (SE) competing successfully in the global market for organic products. […]

Learning by Doing

The Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF) is a learning organization on social enterprise (SE). And what better way to learn SE, than by doing SE? This is the story of the first SE venture directly managed by PEF. In behalf of one of its members, the Cordillera Network of Development NGOs (CORDNET), a self-sustaining, pro-active, […]

That extra dark brown sugar sweetens lives in Antique

Farmers in Laua-an, Antique, have long relied on muscovado sugar and other agricultural products for livelihood. Yet there was hardly enough income for a decent living. In official figures, Laua-an residents are the third poorest in the province of Antique. Five out of every 10 residents are poor in this farming municipality. Laua-an Multi-Purpose Cooperative […]

Life is sweeter for sugarcane farmer

Kabankalan, where farmers are faced with poor yield and low income, could take signs from the success story of a farmer whose cane production increased by 40% with net income of PHP 33,000 by adopting the block farming approach.  Albert Domeo, a 53-year old cane sugar farmer, hails from Barangay Tapi, Kabankalan, Negros Occidental. After […]

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 […]

The Negros Block Farming Project: Building ‘bigger’ farms in Negros Occidental

Travellers across the province of Negros Occidental see hectares upon hectares of land planted to sugarcane. After all, the province is the Philippines’ top sugar producer, contributing more than half of the country’s total sugarcane production. The industry is dominated by large-scale and commercial producers. But small producers are trying out new schemes to survive […]