YAP Proposal #251: Legumes and forage social enterprise (Justin Interno, Philippines)

JustinInterno

I am Justin Paolo Dayapan Interno, 22 years old, an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture majoring in Landscape Agroforestry. I have a technical background in agroforestry design and development, agricultural systems, community organization, agricultural extension and communication from the University of the Philippines, Los Banos, Philippines.

Although I am well-educated, circumstances have exposed me to the country’s endangered agricultural landscape, underutilized genetic resources and of course, poorly empowered women.

As of 2015, 51.2 million Filipinos are women, and approximately 839,000 of these work as farmers, forestry workers and fisherwomen in rural areas. Aside from their domestic responsibilities like house chores and taking care of their children, these women have to take part in labor activities to supplement their families’ income.

Women’s commitment is supposed to have equalized the nation’s agricultural panorama, but women still struggle because they are limited by factors such as unfairness in land productivity and tenure opportunities, agricultural resources, market opportunities, social discrimination and oppression and violence.

Although the Philippines is an agricultural country, undernourishment issues (like micronutrient deficiency) and hunger still prevail. In 2014, more than half (56.6%) of infants, 49.1% of older males, 50.7% of pregnant women and 45.7% of lactating women are affected by  iron-deficiency (anemia). Thirty-two percent of preschool children are underweight.

Furthermore, almost 20% of adolescents and 12.2% of adults are under their normal Body Mass Index, and are ‘chronically energy-deficient’. Filipinos who remain undernourished reached 13.5% in 2015. These figures are greatly influenced by Filipinos’ declining daily vegetable consumption, especially legumes.

Moreover, the local livestock industry is having a hard time securing healthy feed for ruminants and poultry, as livestock raisers depend largely on unimproved pastures and less nutrient-filled grasses.

Filipino women in agriculture clamor for inclusive, sustainable and empowering mechanisms that will ensure that their efforts will truly reflect their worth. The most appropriate solution is to provide them the avenue to become collaborative leaders, entrepreneurs, and nutritionally sound, and for them to contribute to food security, livestock raising, social acceptance and a healthy environment.

To address these intertwining issues, Filipinas United for Legumes and Forage (FULF) is proposed. FULF is a woman-centered social enterprise that caters to the production of important local pulses and botanical species edible for livestock.

Specifically, this enterprise will focus on Filipina women empowerment, promotion of intercropping and climate change adaptation, improved crop production, conservation of genetic resources and biodiversity, agribusiness and agritourism, restoration of soil health and appreciation of pulses and forage crops in the country.

FULF will be established at Nagcarlan, Laguna, where the Gliricidia sepium (local name Kakawate or madre de cacao) trellising system is prevalent. Furthermore, numerous potential land areas in this region remain unimproved even with Gliricidia stakes. This project includes the participation of female rural farmers starting from age 16. Women farmers are partners and core leaders of FULF, and they will be involved in different stages.

Stage 1: Curriculum Development.

This stage includes 2 months of curriculum formulation in coordination with the Department of Agriculture (DA), Bureau of Plant Industry–Region IV-A (BPI) and the University of the Philippines Los Banos-Crop Science Cluster (CSC), UPLB Center for Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship (CTTE), Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and the University of the Philippines Los Banos-Agricultural Systems Cluster (ASC).

The curriculum will cover the following areas: legume and forage crop-specific production, organic fertilizer production using forages and legumes and their by-products, social enterprise structure, agricultural accounting and marketing, seed funding, sponsorship, crop insurance and financial management, leadership and community organization.

Stage 2: Coordination with Local Government Units (LGUs).

Securing logistical, operational, legal permits and other documents, as well as getting permission to hold orientations and focus group discussions with farmers in the Barangay will be emphasized. We will disseminate information about the upcoming social enterprises and the scheduling of future activities.

Stage 3: Farmers Orientation, Focus Group Discussion and Recruitment.

Terms and conditions related to establishing the entity as a social enterprise will be discussed. Commitment of women farmers for this project will also be identified. Expectations will also be set and calibrated for long-term involvement.

Stage 4: Canvassing, Deliberation and Purchasing of Resources.

Canvassing, deliberation and purchasing of tools, planting materials, land and other necessary preparations must be done prior to the execution.

Stage 5: Educational Discussion/Agricultural Extension.

This training will run for up to six months. This stage covers systematic lecture-type and hands-on type trainings, technology transfer, focus group discussions, monthly participatory monitoring and evaluation and leadership training.

Crops such as pole sitao (Vigna unguiculata), Goa bean/Asparagus bean/winged pea (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus), Velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens), Mungbean (Vigna radiata), Baguio bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), Chickpea (Cicer arietinum), Peanut (Arachis hypogaea), Soybean (Glycine max), and Lentils (Lens culinaris) will be covered.

Stage 6: Exposure and External Involvements.

Growth and empowerment should be maximized both inside and outside the program. Women farmers will be taken to various talks, symposia and congresses relevant to the enterprise and their personal development. Appropriate arrangements will be taken into consideration.

Stage 7: Strengthening of Enterprise’s Organizational Structure.

By the time the women are technically trained, positive changes will be applied such as determination of women’s specializations and roles in the enterprise, whether in leadership, technology transfer, quality assurance, production, human resource, finances or external relations. As they become more aware of their specific duties and responsibilities they will facilitate efficiency and order.

Stage 8: Positioning and Networking.

This stage includes securing posts in market fairs to sell goods, network, deal with prospective partners and recruits, execute strategies with the most profitable market segments, operate the FULF stall/s in the public market/s, and others.

Stage 9. Expansion and Innovation.

Other possible business opportunities will be integrated at this time because FULF is expected to have tight ties with the LGU’s, the region and of course the chosen market segment. Exploration of possible profits from by-products and wastes will be started. Organic fertilizer manufacturing should be started, while packaging and branding of FULF products and services are improved. The idea of agro-tourism will be revitalized and applied according to pioneer site profiles.

As of now, the pioneer site has already been determined. Basic profiling has also been done for women farmers. Visual inspection of Gliricidia farms in Nagcarlan has been conducted. We have also made initial contact and coordination with the Local Government Unit of Nagcarlan and the barangays that will be covered.

After institutionalizing FULF, the following goals should be achieved:

  • Women farmers have distinct specializations in legume and forage production by the first year.
  • Women specializing in organic fertilizer production should be established in the second year.
  • In two years, an organic fertilizer production facility is integrated into the enterprise.
  • 50-60% of independent women farmers in the area are members and practitioners in the first year.
  • 70-90% of women are members and practitioners in the second year.
  • 100% are members by the third year.
  • Women’s farmers markets at Nagcarlan will earn a gross income amounting to 60-80% of the seed funding for the first year; income will break even after 1.5 years. Income of 50% more than $5000 seed fund will be achieved for the second year and 200% gross income by the third year.
  • 80% of Laguna province’s mungbean, pole sitao, and other economically important legumes are supplied by FULF after three years.
  • After a year of establishment, FULF has the ability to trade products and by-products across the province.
  • In four years, the FULF learning laboratory will be expand by adding forage and legume storage facilities.
  • In five years, FULF must have established its own packaging and postharvest facility.

Seed funding of $5000 is devoted to different important resources and tools:
Leasing of 2 hectares of land for $1500.
Construction of mini learning laboratory/meeting center/quarters for $1750.
Planting resources (seeds and seedlings) for $350.
Technological materials (basic tools) for $650.
Educational Materials USD $300.
Logistical and operational expenses for $250.
Communication/IEC materials for $200.
Initial investment to crop insurance starting at $500.

I have a dream: to wake up one day realizing that agriculture has become the profession of the people and for the people; to live in a world that is vigilant in ensuring healthy, economical and ethical food systems; to be in a satisfied society that observes equality among genders, races and ideas; to be in a world free from hungry stomachs, uneducated children, and poor people, especially women.

Right now, I’m living in a reality where I can walk closer to achieving this aspiration with like-minded fellows, and with opportunities like this.

Blogpost and picture submitted by Justin Interno (Philippines) – jdinterno1[at]up.edu.ph

The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.


This post is published as proposal #251 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.

The first selection of the winners will be based on the number of comments, likes and views each proposal gets.

As a reader, you can support this speaker’s entry:

  • Leave a comment (question, suggestion,..) on this project in the comment field at the bottom of this page
  • Support the post by clicking the “Like” button below (only possible for those with a WordPress.com account)
  • Spread this post via your social media channels, using the hashtag: #GCARD3

 

Have a look at the other “YAP” proposals too!
As a donor, support young agripreneurs and sponsor this unique project. Check out the side column for our current sponsors.
“YAP” is part of the #GCARD3 process, the third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development.


96 thoughts on “YAP Proposal #251: Legumes and forage social enterprise (Justin Interno, Philippines)

  1. Hi Justin! This is a great proposal. Our female workforce in our country is greatly undervalued and overworked, and this could be a great proposal that will be able to give them a greater sense of accomplishment, pride in their work, and better financial conditions. Good luck, my friend. 🙂

    1. Thank you, josine! May our own focus areas be forwarded through our commitment and skills, with the help of opportunities like this. Have a good day!

  2. Liking the sociological/political/economic aspects of your proposal (social discrimination, market opportunities, oppression, tenure opportunities), along with your varied methods that invest in and would ideally empower women farmers, specifically FGD and leadership training, among others.

    Good luck.

    1. Thank you very much. I am firmly hoping that you’ll join me in this endeavor! #WomenEmpowerment #GCARD3

  3. I think your proposal is very good and very efficient. I like how you planned the curriculum and involving certain institutions that would be of great help to your cause. However, how do you plan to monitor the progress of your proposal? Kindly enlighten me what will be your check and balance mechanism to gauge if the participants are really doing their part. 🙂
    But over all, this is a great proposal that I think will have a big impact in our society and economy. Good luck!

    1. I would like to agree with you Ren, The implementation of such proposal will really have a great impact for our agricultural endeavor, absolutely it will contribute to the growth of our economy, especially in agriculture .

    2. Monitoring and evaluation would be as regular as a monthly activity. Focus group discussion, surveys and on-site/ hands-on exposition is planned as for weighing for learning outcomes. Documentation and surveys from women participants will also be conducted and be dealt with accordingly. Women leaders will be the best partners for monitoring this condition.

  4. I would like to commend the proposal because indeed such projects upon implementation will definitely of great value not only to the participants of the program, but also it will have a very positive impact in our agricultural growth.

  5. It’s good to know that studies on female workers as an undervalued workforce is not considered mutually exclusive to migrant workers. What should strike public attention is how little we have done to change things in the past decades of which the proposal smartly points out. The greater hurdles would be at Stages 2 and 4, given the constraints of the Local Government Code in terms of bureaucracy and cooperation in the former, and transparency in the latter.

    Best wishes to your proposal.

    1. Indeed, Jose.Research show in agriculture that women lack the access on agricultural opportunities unlike males, although these women are not limited to perform agricultural tasks, especially when they have farmer spouses too.

      I’ll really put more effort on ensuring the proper and efficient implementation of the critical stages, so there would not be legal and complications in the future.

      Thank you for your comments in this proposal. Cheers!

  6. I think your proposal is feasible.This would really empower the women. I do hope that you will be able to get a support from the LGU’s and NGO’s. God bless! 🙂

    1. Thank you for recognizing the feasibility of this proposal, Karla! Let’s hope and work towards a well-coordinated project implementation, especially now with the government we have.

  7. Hi, well-thought proposal. Particularly impressed on identifying important milestones, including budget requirements and ensuring multisectoral involvement. But here are some suggestions to further improve it:

    – establish criteria on profile of women farmers (if none yet)
    – establish your baseline for comparison
    – expound on how you intend to make the project sustainable
    – be clear on how women farmers will benefit beyond trainings, financial gains. How would it improve their well being, etc? Other than being recepients/beneficiaries of the project, is there an intention to make them “own” the project? If yes, what would be your turn-over plans?

    Peace! Goodluck!

    1. There will be a time that empowerment on women’s end must be ensured and all. You’re suggestions is really of a big help. I will tank note of this, Joan! Let us work together towards making this be implemented. I can’t wait to do this for agriculture! #GCARD3

  8. Looking at it from a development perspective, this proposal is very promising. Not only did you specify specific areas of concern, but you touched on important aspects of development such as empowerment, inclusion, and environment. Furthermore, the proposal is very precise, budget is not overbloated, timeline is quite realistic, and there is room for the project to be expanded/replicated.

    1. My sincerest gratitude, Sir Geo! Let’s be more inspired in sustaining a development-oriented mindset. We need more people who will address major obstacles of the society, especially in agriculture. Let us work together towards this dream. Thank you!

  9. Ohhh. Cool! Legumes, pulses, and forage crops with a combination of Filipina Women Empowerment. It’s worth investing and to be supported.

    If we look it in a perspective of an Agribusiness way, It has a good potential in the market especially in the future due to the transition stage of the Philippines because of ASEAN Integration with a proper marketing and development of finished products.

    Possible successful expansion for this enterprise would be Vermiculture & production of farm inputs in Organic Industry.

    Goodluck Justin and I hope for the best in the near future. =)

    1. Thank you for your valuable comments, as well as your suggestion. Don’t worry because we can work on that especially when we work together. Just let me know more market opportunities you know, especially for these legumes and forage so it would hit and become more profitable for women farmers. Also, if you know about any seed funding beyond YAP, I would love to know them so to coordinate with them, and eventually make this possible. Cheers!

  10. Justin i think it is great that you have recognized the role of women in agriculture. By doing so you will empower them to become larger than life. All the best to you my friend!

    1. Thank you, Loannah! Let us not forget to make good things in harmony, I mean, working altogether for agricultural development beyond genders. All the best to you, too!

  11. This is a cool idea, i like how you focused on women’s empowerment. Our government should fund projects like this. Keep it up man!!! This one is awesome!!!

    1. Thank you very much, Eric. No words for your sincere appreciation. I hope that we will work together to make this possible! Thank you!

  12. I see this as a very detailed and well-planned program that intends not only to improve various women’s skills but also their value as pivotal elements in the workforce (in particular, in the agricultural sector). I hope we could turn this project into fruition! Kudos to you, Justin, for a great and innovative idea!

    1. Another great thing I could say aside from gratitude is to inspire you with this. Ian, I hope that we can work together to make this possible. For the women, for the Philippines, for agriculture!

  13. Good job! 🙂 Some suggestions lang. It would be nice to include CC and its effects on agriculture in your curriculum development. It was mentioned earlier but was not included in the curriculum development. Another is provision for post-implementation evaluation just to have a feel of the experiences/lessons learned during project implementation. Goodluck! 🙂

    1. Noted, sir Eman! I am very thankful for giving such insights. Don’t worry I will take note of these suggestions so I can incorporate them in the project planning, of course when given the chance to establish FULF as soon as possible.

    1. I already saw your comments Julian and I want to share about what you said to the people. The most impactful comment you’ve mentioned is about considering a more reliable yet efficient stages of developing this FULF project. Don’t worry, I will take note of your suggestions. I hope that we can work together for this. All for agricultural development!

    1. Thank you for this Jim! Let’s work together and include wore women-empowering projects in the future. For YPARD! For the Philippines! For Agriculture! For our women!

  14. As a woman and someone who specializes on an equally undervalued curriculum (BS Forestry), I wholeheartedly commend the rationale of this proposal! Gender inequality is still so prevalent in these sectors, and one of the reasons why is women’s lack of opportunity for education. Hope you’d incorporate a bit into your curriculum about their rights as women, cause most likely they won’t even know they have rights in the first place. This will surely help empower them more. Furthermore, whose land are you going to utilize? Would it be owned by farmers or landowners? How would you plan the distribution of income and management of the land? Lastly, preparing for a contingency plan (especially in cases of typhoons and drought) won’t hurt!

    I wonder if I could help with this project in any way (I’d be willing!) Good luck!

    1. Riza, thank you for sharing your insights in the context of Foresty. Noe I understand more of a thicker discrepancy for women’s roles key areas of the country, like agriculture and forestry. To answer your question, I would like women to utilize their own land areas for their own management. But whenever possible, I will also acquire another land area, that was also considered during the $5000 budget breakdown in the proposal.

      Also, I gladly take note of making contingency plans to address typhoons and droughts. Honestly, their main problem with nature is the prevalence of typhoon. My friend from the Geology sector already pointed out this threat, but the formulation a contingency plan for this is yet to be started. May you share more of your insights related to this. I would love to take note of your constructive criticisms. All the best!

  15. Hello Brod Justin,

    I just read your project proposal and I’d say it is feasible and very interesting.

    Just a few concerns though:

    1. I think you should include safety concerns (materials, kits, seminars, etc.) in your budgeting. I mean, if they (target women recruits) would actually join FULF and commit in spending some of their time in the farm, and knowing that farms can be a very harsh working environment (due to presence of heat, insects, dirt, etc.) and may require intense labor, I think they should know some safety precautions when working in a farm (at least on the agriculturist side). Safety kits and materials should also be readily available.

    2. Any contingency plans? I see that you have an “Initial investment to crop insurance starting at $500.” But how about, say, insurance for the location? Considering that Nagcarlan, Laguna is a landslide prone area, as stated by the DENR (2012) (http://www.science.ph/full_story.php?type=News&key=6387:denr-4a-high-risk-geohazard-areas-not-for-human-habitation). Well, you may have already considered this when you chose the pioneer site for FULF, but I posted it anyway :D.

    3. Lastly, I think the specialization for organic fertilizer production can be included in the first year (together with the ‘distinct specializations in legume and forage production’). This can make it more efficient considering your timeline and assuming that you’ll use organic fertilizers right from the start. (Well, that’s just me.. You’re the agriculturist after all.. Peace! :D)

    1. Thank you for your comments and suggestions, Angelo! They’re really of a big help. I honor the idea of ensuring safety among them women because safety and security is included in the core of women empowerment. Let’s see how we can incorporate this to the program, especially upon this project’s implementation.

      Secondly, it is actually cooler to conduct this agricultural activity in a landslide prone area. Addition of botanical components in a loose or unstable soil mass in contours help in the compaction of the latter (roots will seep water into their shoot system friends, so soil will really be pulled towards the roots, and eventually, soil will be closer than those two people with mutual understanding. for contingency plans, we have yet to strengthen this aspect since I am not very well-informed about things such as disaster risk reduction and all that. We’l surely incorporate this.

      For the organic agriculture part, this is a form of respect to the community. I don’t want to bring more industry that can ruin their health systems and sanitary condition. Meaning, I don’t really want this enterprise to rely much on chemical management and related means.

      Again, thank you!

  16. Such great intervention! This is what Africa needs… Keep the good work Afred Godwin Adgabeng.

    1. I’m hoping that we can learn from these proposal for future initiatives to empower women. Let’s work together!

  17. Looks promising. You’ve touched on some of the important points that concern the country at the moment (malnutrition, women empowerment, agricultural advancement, et cetera). Truly, if the Philippines is rich in anything, it would be in agriculture, thus, it is only natural for us to focus on this area of development. There’s always room for improvement in any country and I hope you get the support to make this improvement a reality for the Philippines. Best of luck!

    1. Sincerest gratitude, Blessy! Indded, there is hope. I hope that you can be part of this emerging solution. Let us go ahead and stand up for women empowerment!

    1. Precisely, Sheenalyn! Your affirmation will truly boost the spirit of pursuing this project! For agriculture, for women, for the Philippines!

  18. Hi Justin! I would say that this project is very interesting and timely! I admire you for your passion to help people through this well-planned developmental program. I really hope that this project will be implemented soon!
    Btw, I just have a question from a Geoscience perspective. Since our country encounters a lot of typhoons every year and the fact that Quezon province almost always gets the blow, what measure(s) do you have in mind just in case you encounter big damage and financial loss? How are you going to make sure that even with this kind of event, the program would still survive?

    Such a man of passion! Kudos!

  19. Hi Justin! Your proposal will be very appreciated especially of women sector. We need to empower the women and appreciated their great contribution to economy and to the country as a whole. With your proposal, women are given the chance to earn and educated on the aspect of livelihood. Questions? How will this be sustainable? Why not include the concept of climate change in your proposal? I asked this question because I am also working with the social capital vulnerability of an island municipality and most of the women in the area are mostly plain housewife and I think women, especially the female-household head is one of the vulnerable sectors in our community. With your proposal, women are empowered to become resilient to changing climate if this will be incorporated in your proposal. Thank you and Good luck!

    1. Point taken, sir Jobert! Sustainability is indeed part of this social enterprise’s backbone. To ensure sustainability, monthly monitoring and evaluation is needed. And for climate change adaptation, I would take note of that, and will concretize resolution addressing these. Nevertheless, I am very thankful about your insights! Cheers!

  20. I’m not a specialist in this field, yet I know that this proposal will be of great help to those who are in agricultural businesses especially the women. Kuya Justin, this proposal should really be spread by the LGU’s and NGO’s. And I hope this will also help in the arousal of awareness in every individual. Go! Fight!

    1. Thank you so much, Ivy. It doesn’t matter if you’re from the field or not. We can actually still work together on achieving this. Especially on the business aspect of this endeavor. Thank you!

  21. Your proposal is certainly noble. It addresses a growing view on gender inequality. It puts you in a good position to attract a targeted source of funding. This probably was the proposal’s greatest strength.
    In my view, you can probably improve on two areas:
    – Sharpen the focus of your narrative. You touched on a whole gamut of issues around women empowerment which was probably good but reduces your ability to identify key metrics to measure the total success of this endeavour.
    – You are selling this as a social enterprise, in short a business undertaking. However, the best part of the program is dedicated on technical education rather than on entrepreneurship. Without a business plan on identifying the baseline management skills and how to get these to the viable level, a milestone of achieving 80% market in Laguna is probably overly ambitious.
    Cheers!

    1. Point taken. As a business endeavor, on point business goals and all other details should be in place. I’ll let you guys know how this will specifically work as a business as soon as possible. Thank you!

      1. History will tell you it’s wise you’re not only making workers out of them but also entrepreneurs. It will give the undertaking a better fighting chance to still operate past the grant funding deadlines.

  22. You request for community input seems largely token as you posted it the day before input closes. Also it did not appear in any of the organic or permaculture groups. My ex is a ruralfarming single mum in a family of farmers. I put her through Ag college and am quite involved in permaculture in the philippines as a foreign community development worker.
    Terracing is labour intensive and only necessary for rice. Consider swales.
    How will women pay for land to terrace.
    I suggest chop and drop leguminous trees instead – very forage suitable
    The basic problem is land ownership. I suggest you investigate boiler plate contracts for long term land leases. Perhaps have a government lease insurance scheme
    Normally landlords want half the crop as rent so no more than annual development can take place.
    Intercropping suggest commercial production. Plant guilds are more effective for home consumption (ie most dont have farm land for development.

    Remember to concentrate on individual production. Pinay do not trust joint ventures.

    I suggest you use action research with free food and childcare to get real community input. You have designed the project to go top down through existing academic circles. These tend to think big and forget that poor people cannot afford to experiment with joint ventures. That means they will join if they get things for free and the project will collapse as soon as funding is withdrawn. It is a chronic problem with middle class interventions in the phillipines. Oh – and then the poor are called lazy and stupid (nearly forgot the last step). They are not stupid but all farmenrs are notoriously conservative. Things need to be at an independant individual scale if they are to catch on.

    What operational permits will you require? DTI hates granting BMBE permits and needs to be taken before the red tape department. A have been transferred 8 times and waited for over a year for a secretary of the manila DTI to be empowered to sign off.

    Again – action research – do a test run in one barangay first, then 3, then a lot.

    I do not see any tree legumes in your list – many of these grow wild and are thus easy to harvest when the program finishes. .
    In particular filipino farmers think mulch is bad because it hides the weeds. Mulch should be 6 inches think and compost down to 1 inch within a month. Watering is a huge problem for poor people. Mulch massively reduces that and weeds and stops rain washing out minerals

    You have not mentioned rhizome inoculants as provided by the dep Ag for mung beans.

    Consider selling bales of bean straw. hmmm no market for mulch
    What form will the compost be? Liquid?

    Why are your prices in $?
    Convert all educational materials to smart phone compatible format – ie OCR

    1. Thank you for all your inputs, Kim! Rest assured that these matters will be addressed as soon as possible. I always wanted to make sure that this community idea would be bottom-up, but it should be started with academic inputs. Moreover, action research part would really have the best impact. I will have to partner with more groups, and organize are core group because it needs more people. For tree legumes, only Gliricidia sepium is considered because the tree is prevalent in the area. I’ve had some research there specifically on their use of Gliricidia in agriculture.

      Don’t worry, I’ll add rhizome inoculants, mulching and other cultural management interventions to get the whole agricultural practice done. All the best!

    2. KIm!! I really appreciate your comment – I’m wondering are you involved in organic agriculture at all / consulting for agriculture? If so – I’d love to connect. let me know , and we can exchange emails!!

  23. Hi Justin! This is a very great idea. I salute not only your idea but the concern and initiative of a young blood like you for the welfare of our country and also our woman workforce. Coincidentally, it fits to our celebration of International Women’s Month. Your idea, can help to bring back the importance of the agricultural richness of our country. This can be a great help also to give a source of income and food to our people, because let’s admit it, though there’s a growing opportunities for our people in booming industries of BPO and others, there are still many women and people who can’t compete with the tight competition. Good luck to you!

    1. Thank you very much for recognizing the initiative. This proposal has still its holes and imperfections especially on its business and other underlying concerns but we won’t stop there. The flow of criticisms and suggestions will always have a space in this endeavor. Let us not end this up a failure. Let us help each other in making this project a reality. Have a great day!

  24. something about “conservation of genetic resources” you mentioned only a few of legume spp. perhaps conservation will be great if you involved more species and heirloom varieties

    1. During the later stages, we will get straight to innovating more, thus including heirloom varieties. Specifics is yet to be disclosed to I strongly agree with your sentiment. Thank you very much for your comment!

  25. You request for community input seems largely token as you posted it the day before input closes. Also it did not appear in any of the organic or permaculture groups. My ex is a ruralfarming single mum in a family of farmers. I put her through Ag college and am quite involved in permaculture in the philippines as a foreign community development worker.
    Terracing is labour intensive and only necessary for rice. Consider swales.
    How will women pay for land to terrace.
    I suggest chop and drop leguminous trees instead – very forage suitable
    The basic problem is land ownership. I suggest you investigate boiler plate contracts for long term land leases. Perhaps have a government lease insurance scheme
    Normally landlords want half the crop as rent so no more than annual development can take place.
    Intercropping suggest commercial production. Plant guilds are more effective for home consumption (ie most dont have farm land for development.

    Remember to concentrate on individual production. Pinay do not trust joint ventures.

    I suggest you use action research with free food and childcare to get real community input. You have designed the project to go top down through existing academic circles. These tend to think big and forget that poor people cannot afford to experiment with joint ventures. That means they will join if they get things for free and the project will collapse as soon as funding is withdrawn. It is a chronic problem with middle class interventions in the phillipines. Oh – and then the poor are called lazy and stupid (nearly forgot the last step). They are not stupid but all farmenrs are notoriously conservative. Things need to be at an independant individual scale if they are to catch on.

    What operational permits will you require? DTI hates granting BMBE permits and needs to be taken before the red tape department. A have been transferred 8 times and waited for over a year for a secretary of the manila DTI to be empowered to sign off.

    Again – action research – do a test run in one barangay first, then 3, then a lot.

    I do not see any tree legumes in your list – many of these grow wild and are thus easy to harvest when the program finishes. .
    In particular filipino farmers think mulch is bad because it hides the weeds. Mulch should be 6 inches think and compost down to 1 inch within a month. Watering is a huge problem for poor people. Mulch massively reduces that and weeds and stops rain washing out minerals

    You have not mentioned rhizome inoculants as provided by the dep Ag for mung beans.

    Consider selling bales of bean straw. hmmm no market for mulch
    What form will the compost be? Liquid?

    Why are your prices in $?
    Convert all educational materials to smart phone compatible format – ie OCR

    You need to understand that you will be spending public money. Failure wastes the money available to these women. Thus being late affects them. Failing to consult means they get blamed for ignorance etc. The poor always get blamed for the failures of proffessional welfare (which this is)

  26. It is worth supporting this kind of project proposal that promotes empowerment of Filipino women by heightening their participation in agricultural activities, particularly in legumes and forage crops industry, and entrepreneurship. I wish you, Justin, all the best for this competition!

  27. It is worth supporting this kind of project proposal that promotes empowerment of Filipino women by heightening their participation in agricultural development, particularly in legumes and forage crops industry, and in entrepreneurship. I hope you all the best for this competition! #GCARD3

  28. Justin, this is a great avenue for women to be empowered from being vulnerable ones. This will help not only women but rather the society and the nation in achieving some of the Sustainable Development Goals that our country is also working on. On the other side, you’ve mentioned that it is open for women from 16 years old? Why did you chose that age bracket? Hope it will be further explained why. I would suggest also that you might mention or cite the rights of every woman related to this, for the awareness of all, because it is always forgotten that leads to abuses and violences of women. Lastly, how about the land ownership and the income? How it will be management? And ehose land are you going to use? It will be owned by the women or not? How would you plan the distribution of income and the management of the land? As a Social Work students, I highly recommend this project, I am looking forward to this, and I am very willing to support and be part of this one. Kudos!

    1. I chose 16 as the minimum age because I wanted women to be engaged with smart agriculture as young as possible. But don’t get me wrong. This is not compulsory since we’ll have to determine the interested parties from the Orientation stage.

      Of course, empowerment is protected and driven by their rights. But since educating about such was not included in the proposal, let me make ways by which this can be incorporated during the training or the beginning of the project.

      For the land, I’ve thought of two ways, leasing their own available lands, or buying lots for sale and let’s see if we can provide these to them eventually. But so far as it is concerned, I believe that this will be a communal unit and they will not be limited to utilize this as long that the activity they plan to do is in lined with the objectives of the project.

  29. This proposal is really efficient good job Tino just pursue what you really want to achieve in this agricultural advocacy to empowered the Women keep up✅✅✅

  30. I hope you do value chain analysis first to get a better program or project. This will greatly improve the focus on where to start intervention,how to do it,when to do it etc.

  31. This is a good proposal for women empowerment. However, I am just concerned on the side of its sustainability to meet future demand. Through building networks, bigger market is expected. I suggest that a detailed planning on how future demands must take part on proposal as included in the timeline.

    Goodluck, Justin! I am also looking forward that in few years time, I will see my women neighborhood doing this 🙂

    1. I’ll take note of this, Christian! Thank you. You’re very welcome to share more of your insights to improve this project. Also, where’s your area? Let’s see how can we do that there real soon.

  32. My only thought is that the Philippines is considered a newly industrialized country which has an economy transitioning from one based on agriculture to one based more on services and manufacturing, so for a more deeper implication, the project should also be incorporated to other projects promoting agriculture in general and projects addressing the current situation of the country’s agriculture. That way it will have a more effective impact and dissemination to the public.

  33. Hi Bards! Salute to raising women empowerment! I think this proposal can great take heights in the future. Many have already indicated ways on how to smoothen your proposal. So I won’t dwell much on that.

    I don’t know much about farming, so I wanted to ask why legumes? I saw in one of the comments that they’re relatively cheap and high in protein. But are those the only reasons? I was reading through the transition from women and children’s health and I just didn’t quite grasp what legumes had to do with it hehe. Sorry please enlighten me.

    I agree though with one of the commentors. Start small. Start with just one baranggay. And I suggest for initial take-off, for the first group of women you’ll be opting for, choose mostly women who are “tenured” in farming. But don’t leave out a freshie or two so that ideally they’ll be able to put in new perspectives.

    May fortune smile upon you, brother!

  34. I hope that there are people who would wholeheartedly invest in this kind of project! Your idea is full of opportunities for Filipino women. I hope in the future you get a chance to work with best engineers to help you with technological innovations! Great job 🙂

  35. I hope there are people who would wholeheartedly invest in this kind of project! Your idea is full of opportunities for Filipino women. I hope in the future you get a chance to work with best engineers to help you with technological innovations! Great job 🙂

  36. Hi, I saw your project and would just like to point out some things that haven’t been discussed. I’m more focused on the business side since I’m an Agribusiness grad (from CEM) and was working with LandBank before with financing startups or rehabilitating old agribusinesses. I’ll be straight, most business startups or projects overlook cashflows. Of course, you have your production schedules and cost management, but how about sustainability not just from within the intended Payback Period (if you’ve computed for that already), but also a sustainability protocol embedded in your short term and long term sensitivity analysis. Of course, I read your goals when institutionalizing FULF, but what’s the real life basis for these percentages figures? Also, aside from the financial side, the marketing side would need you to at least address the value chain of your chosen market. You said that: “80% of Laguna province’s mungbean, pole sitao, and other economically important legumes are supplied by FULF after three years”. Of course, competitors and other players in this commodity industry will not idly sit by, and this is just one market factor so far. Overall, it’s a different approach that incorporates social responsibility right away, but you have to at least have some specific and processed numbers put down on paper like projected 5 year financial statements, and at least get an NPV or IRR to garner professional support.

  37. Hi Justin…I would just like to share some points regarding Market..One of the requirements, I may say, in the entrepreneurship today, as charge to experience of dealing with the farmers and women as well ( as we have these Rural Improvement Clubs of Women in our town), they are always asking where is the MARKET. Introducing new ventures like this really needs a lot of hardworks, and creating a Market too.

    Perhaps while doing the STAGE 1, you have simultaneous study of how well will it going to be in the MARKET, since your first crop is Kakawate. How long are the intervals of each stage? What’s the timeline?

    I hope this proposal will be funded and if you like it to extend when the time comes, we will be glad if you could lend it to STO. TOMAS, BATANGAS. Although we already started empowering women here through Gender and Development Program of the LGU, we will still welcome new possibilities such as this ..to help them and augment their family’s income.

    With you in public service! Thanks for also dreaming a better world for women!

  38. This certainly is a noble project. Addressing a seemingly growing view on gender inequality puts you in a good position to attract targeted source of funding. This I think is the proposal’s greatest strength.

    You could probably improve on two more areas:

    1. Sharpen the focus of your narrative. You were trying to address a broad and comprehensive issues around women, nutrition, empowerment and some other things, which probably limits the project’s ability to identify key indicators and reasonably measure them.
    2. The project seeks to establish a social enterprise. In short it’s a business undertaking. The best part of the program is devouted on technical education. Are you aiming to produce workers or entrepreneurs? Without a deliberate attempt to identify existing business competence and lift it to a viable level, capturing 80% of the market is probably too ambitious.

  39. Hello po kuya 🙂 Sorry po kasi wala po akong mai sa-suggest na maganda kasi nasa higher level na po yung project niyo pero gusto ko lang po talagang mag congratulate sa inyo unang una dahil ang mapabilang sa event po na yan ay isang MALAKING karangalan na po, makuha man o hindi, iba talaga ang experience na maaranasan mo sa journey po na yan and GOD bless din po sa inyo at sa whole family niyo. Thanks po for inspiring youths like me na gumawa ng mga bagay na maikakabuti sa ating mundo. GOD bless po 🙂

  40. The way to train women whilst offering them half a minimum wage for training is to build the product into their regular activities.
    If they rent stabely or with land rights or own land or live on family land (ruraly possibly 3/4?) then they can plant these trees and be around to harvest them regularly in 2 to 3 years. But then its teaching them permaculture food forestry. It gets families out of subsistence so they can finally invest in womens and kids independance. But grant providers want to teach the poor how to make money, not how to not need money. Why???
    Economists do not know how to count. That is why womens work counts for nothing unless it pays tax.

    http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/7310
    wikipedia.org/wiki/If_Women_Counted

  41. Hi Justin, this is a wonderful proposal. Is this for implementation? We are exploring soybeans and other legumes as part of a small project in sagada mountain province. the spirit resonates with your proposal. it is alright to tailor the proposal for this place? also, this might be appropriate for another municiplaity known for their legumes.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s