What farmers want for Christmas: Local and national support for agriculture empowerment

Photo by yvettefang0604 from Pixabay

By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao

Every Christmas, we all have a wishlist that contains everything that we hope to get as gifts for the holidays. Like everyone else, farmers also have a good idea of what they want to get not just for Christmas, but for the days to come. 

Three prolific farmers share what they want to receive for Christmas that will benefit both them and other farmers alike. 

Editha Dacuycuy of REFMAD Farm 

Also known as the Dragon fruit Queen of the north, Dacuycuy is the proprietor of REFMAD Farm which grows dragon fruits in Paayas, Burgos, Ilocos Norte. She promoted the dragon fruit industry in the region and has helped farmers make a profit from the exotic fruit. 

(Read about Dacuycuy and REFMAD Farm here.

She considers that the best Christmas gift that farmers like her can receive is a way to strengthen their belief in their profession and the vital role they play in sustaining communities. 

“They are the great providers of food for the people. For this, we should honor the farmers and help them build their confidence about their chosen line of work,” she said. 

By doing so, it could help end the stigma that farming is a poor man’s job and inspire others to venture in growing food for themselves and for others.  

Larrie Adanza of Adanza Coffee Farms 

From Anahawan, Southern Leyte, Larrie Adanza founded Adanza Coffee Farms which produces coffee through natural farming practices and is the first farm in the region to receive a processing plant that allows Adanza and other farmers in the area to process their raw ingredients into value-added goods. 

(Read about Adanza Coffee Farms here.)   

This Christmas, she wishes for something that would span longer than just this year’s gift-giving season: support to help farmers realize their agricultural dreams. 

“Aside from recognizing their efforts in growing our food, farmers should be able to receive support from the local and national government,” Adanza said. 

One way to show this support, especially to small farmers, is by providing them with a means to start growing their own food. This can be done by either allocating a budget, supplying them with seeds and fertilizers, and ultimately carrying out proposed projects that have significant advantages to farmers. 

“I also wish that farmers like me will have abundant harvests and good income for the days to come,” the coffee farmer added. 

Flor Tarriela of Flor’s Garden 

Besides holding the position of chairwoman of the Philippine National Bank, Flor Tarriela also owns and manages Flor’s Garden, a diverse and educational garden destination in Antipolo, Rizal. 

(Read about Flor’s Garden here.

“One thing that’s always in my mind is what a waste that we have so much water during rainy days and none in the summer. I want to be able to collect this rainwater to make it available during the dry season,” she said. 

With this in mind, Tarriela hopes that this Christmas, or in the near future, farmers like her will be given access to sustainable farming knowledge that could help cut costs and is environmentally-friendly. 

But one common thing that these farm proprietors wished is that the ongoing health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will come to an end so that everything will go back to normal and that we can learn from it. 

Lastly, Adanza, Dacuycuy, and Tarriela all wish that farmers and everyone else will have a good Christmas celebration, no matter how simple it may be. 

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Patricia Bianca S. Taculao
Patricia Taculao, or Patty as she likes to be called, is a content producer for Manila Bulletin Digital Lifestyle. She graduated from University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. She loves to spend her free time, reading, painting, and watching old movies.

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