Putting Agriculture and Organic Farming in the Limelight
Agriculture isn’t a topic that most people enjoy. Even some tend to find it boring, or too inconsequential. However, this is where the problem lies. People take agriculture for granted. Most people just eat the food that they buy without thinking of farmers who worked hard to get that food on their table.
In the past years, agriculture has been boosted to the limelight because of the efforts of various government agencies, mainly the Department of Agriculture. Relentless updates in social media have led people to pay attention and to be mindful of the progress within agriculture.
The adults have paid attention – but what about the kids? Children need to know about agriculture, too. One farmer from Davao City is already taking the first steps towards educating children about agriculture and organic farming, too.
Bagitong Magsasaka Irone Glenn Cabalida, or Yon to those who know him, is a graphic designer-turned-farmer who has been giving lectures recently to elementary children in Davao City. Yon was first featured in #CacaoDavao campaign of DA-XI which was held last year. His niece, Jamille Fortades, won an award featuring Yon and his cacao product line.
Yon’s cacao products are produced from his farm, Dalubsakahan Farm, which is located in Tacunan, Tugbok District, Davao City. His product line named ‘Bagitong Magsasaka’ symbolizes who he is as a farmer: young and eager to learn more about agriculture. In terms of packaging, it also features a farmer who looks just like him: a young, long-haired farmer wearing a farm hat.
Aside from being a cacao farmer and entrepreneur, Yon is also an advocate of organic farming. He said that he chose organic farming because he wants to produce safe and quality food for consumers – whether it be eggs, chicken meat, or fruits. He also stated that a continuous increase of chemical inputs in a farm reduces the fertility of the soil.
He views organic farming as a healthier choice not only for him but for the soil and ecosystem of the area as well. Organic farming also leads to zero wastage as Yon uses everything on his farm, even manure or leaves on the ground.
Last month, Yon visited two schools to share his knowledge of organic farming. He visited Tacunan National High School and Kids Camp Innovative Learning Academy to talk to the students about the benefits of growing their food as they find a deeper connection with nature while having fun. Aside from that, he reiterated his point that organic farming can improve the environment.