Gifts for Mission: Fund a rice mill in the Philippines

Gaudencao Polistico runs the FARDEC rice mill, separating the rice kernels from the bran that is used as fertilizer or animal feed. Submitted photo by Simon Chambers

About Us

Background


Abundant in natural resources and minerals, Philippines has always been a predominantly agricultural country. Our forefathers have relied on cultivating the lands to produce food not only for their families, but for the whole country as well. Until today, 75% of the population relies on farming and fishing for their source of living. Particularly in Central Visayas region (Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor and Negros Oriental), 56.33% of its 6.8 Million people are based in the rural areas (PSA, 2010).

Despite being an agricultural country with more than enough natural resources and manpower to boast, the Philippine peasantry has remained poor. Since the Spanish colonization until today, landlessness remains to be the chain that binds the farmers to the never-ending cycle of poverty and injustice.

When it comes to income, landless Filipino farmers only earn roughly Php4000 annually – very far from the Php21, 753 annual per capita threshold (PSA, 2015) pegged by the government. Farmers’ lack of access to land, draft animals and farm implements tie them in almost perpetual dependency to the land owners. With climate change, their production problem is even magnified. Consequently, they are forced to enter into unjust and exploitative practices to stay on the land. These practices include but not limited to low wages, unfair sharing scheme, usury, high land rent and low market price for their products.

Tenants who comprise majority of the farmers, are forced to accept unfair sharing agreements of 3-4, 4-5 or worse, 5-5. In these agreements, all production costs are shouldered by the farmers. They are forced to enter into usurious terms to shoulder high-priced production costs along with meeting their basic needs and during emergencies. Consequently, the farmers under these exploitative tenurial relationships are chained to indebtedness.

In Central Visayas, the minimum wage of a farm worker is Php 262 daily for non-sugar workers and Php 277 for sugar workers.  However, cases are rife where farm workers only receive less than a hundred a day for their 10-hour labor on the average. A number of them are even seasonal workers. During off-season, some of them take on odd jobs to momentarily relieve hunger while some take on unpaid jobs for the land owners.

Meanwhile, land use conversions and subsequent decrease in agricultural lands and production exacerbate landlessness in the rural areas and cause rampant ejectment cases among the farmers. Usually, growing farmers’ movement also exists where these cases happen. Farmers fall victims to house burning, massacres, salvaging, illegal arrests, rape and other human rights violations perpetrated either by private goons or by the military itself. They also fall victims to criminalization of agrarian cases and black propaganda. Due to the remoteness of most of their places and for other reasons, most of these cases cannot reach the mainstream media. Our farmers die from hunger or from violence without the public knowing.

Confronted with all these, the farmers could not just be silent. They have learned to organize themselves to advance their rightful claim to the land and to life.

The Birth of FARDEC


Borne out of the belief that the peasants are an indispensable force in attaining sustainable development, individuals from the church, academe and peasants grouped together to build an institution for the farmers. Thus in 1989, Central Visayas Farmers Development Center, Inc. was born.  Since its inception until today, FARDEC continues to serve as a support institution for the farmers in Central Visayas. Given the situation of the farmers past and present, its development framework rests in the idea of working hand-in-hand with the farmers in attaining genuine agrarian reform and sustainable development. Throughout the years, FARDEC’s programs and services underwent changes to cater to the changing needs of the farmers but its development framework remains the same as the farmers’ situation continues to exist.

Vision


We look forward to a sovereign and democratic society where people from all sectors have equal opportunity to determine their own destiny and are united in pursuing genuine agrarian reform and sustainable development.

Mission


We are committed to complement and strengthen the collective efforts of the peasantry in Central Visayas and to enjoin the middle sectors in society and the international community to support their struggle in liberating themselves from agrarian bondage and poverty.

Programs and Services


Program on Organizing, Empowerment and Services (POEMS)

This program is founded on the historical experiences of the farmers where a cohesive organization has been instrumental in attaining the short and long-term aspirations of the farmers.  POEMS aims to consolidate the voice and efforts of the farmers  to effectively address agrarian and socio-economic problems that hound their  communities. This is done through  formation  and empowerment of People’s Organizations at the village, municipal and provincial levels. Moreover, health and legal assistance are also provided to help address the immediate needs of the farmers.

Sustainable Agriculture Program (SAP)

SAP introduces the concept of  sustainable agriculture to POs through gradated trainings on organic farming and through provision of farm inputs, pre and post harvest facilities,  livestock, and water facilities for improved irrigation. It also establishes communal demonstration farms to showcase its best practices for replication. The aim of SAP is to improve productivity, increase farmers’ income and enhance farmers’ resiliency to climate change.

 

Advocacy 

This program involves networking and engages in policy advocacy for genuine agrarian reform. Since many of the issues that affect the farmers remain uncovered, advocacy program does investigative studies on urgent issues faced by the farmers as well as cropline studies, conducts and participates in fact-finding missions, launches fora and press conferences and operates radio programs to popularize peasant issues and contributes to deepening of the public’s understanding on the plight of the farmers and cultivates a sense of appreciation of their important contribution to sustainable development.

Socio-Economic Enterprise for Development (SEED)

FARDEC operates a rice milling and marketing project that seeks to address underpriced palay procurement in Bohol and offer cheaper milling fee to its POs.

 

 

 

Our Products

FARDEC RICE


FARDEC Rice is a product of small rice farmers in Bohol. It boasts of its high quality using traditional rice varieties. Unlike other rice sold in the market today, FARDEC rice uses less chemicals making it fit for your family’s nutritional needs. For just an affordable price, you cannot only buy a guaranteed safe and clean rice, you can help the farmers as well.

Support the farmers, buy FARDEC RICE.

For your orders, please ring us at (032) 254-85-48.

 

Tru-Virgin Coconut Oil 


 As its name says, tru-virgin coconut oil is an oil extracted from Coconut tree without undergoing extreme heating process to retain its natural properties. With its high Lauric acid content, VCO is known for its anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Many studies attest that VCO is effective in preventing and curing diseases such as Hepatitis C, multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis and even cancer. It could also be used as part of your beauty regimen as hair conditioner, creamer or lotion.

Truly Natural, Truly Healthy. Buy VCO now. 

For your orders, please ring us at (032) 254-85-48.

 

 

Publications

Multimedia

 

Radio documentary on militarization in Guihulngan City, Negros

 

Tuburan sa Kamatuoran

July 9, 2017
Topic: Peasant sector’s assessment on Rodrigo Duterte’s 1st year in administration.

Contact Us

Address: 12 Espina Compound B. Rodriguez St. Calamba, Cebu City

Tel No. (032) 254-85-48