Monsanto and Gawad Kalinga recently turned over 413 farm plots to farming families in 19 sites all over Mindanao, Philippines. The project, dubbed as Bayan-Anihan (or community harvest), is a GK program aiming to support families through the setup of backyard farming. Each family takes care of a farm plot, which gives them the alternative of growing their own vegetables and fruits common to their households’ meal preparation. Monsanto’s support has helped set up farm plots spread out in 19 sites nearby established GK villages.
The formal turn-over of the project was held in Catigan, Davao del Sur which is one of the sites where more than 30 families benefited from Monsanto’s health insurance and food sufficiency programs.
“Monsanto has been supporting poverty-alleviation mechanisms, specifically projects which address the critical issue of poverty and hunger. We have been working closely with Gawad Kalinga in helping more communities to achieve sustainable and sufficient sustenance,” said Chris Samuel, CE APAC Regional Lead.
Meanwhile, Maria Leonora Pitogo, one of the program’s beneficiaries expressed her gratitude to Monsanto for its health insurance program. Pitogo is a young mother who recently gave birth to her second child. “Monsanto’s health program allowed me to give birth with proper medical attention. My family is also able to get nutritious food from the vegetable farms which Monsanto helped set up. This is very important for us because I am breastfeeding my child and need to eat nutritious food. I am so grateful to Monsanto for providing us the chance to fight poverty and hunger,” she said.
Monsanto has been partnering with Gawad Kalinga since 2011 beginning with the Bayan-Anihan project in North Luzon where Monsanto and GK built vegetable farms in 18 sites. When typhoon Haiyan hit the Visayas Region in 2013, Monsanto worked with Gawad Kalinga to build 54 houses and repair 174 homes of corn farming families. The Bayan-anihan program in Mindanao is to reach out to impoverished communities in the Davao region to help them address poverty and hunger.
We are happy to have partnered with Gawad Kalinga and be actively involved in transforming the lives of so many farming families all over the Philippines,” Samuel said. More than 70% of the 2,500 Gawad Kalinga communities are into agriculture.
Two councilors of Davao City – Councilor Marissa Salvador-Abella who chairs the Davao City Council’s Committee on Agriculture and Councilor Antoinette Principe-Castrodes who chairs the Committee on International Relations– attended the event and commended Monsanto and GK for the work done to effectively address poverty and hunger. Also in attendance were City Agriculturist Rocelio Tabay and his staff. # (Charina Garrido-Ocampo, Engagement Lead, Monsanto Philippines)