Organic Farming in Mindanao: A Case of Mr. Boncale.

Boncale’s Determination, persistence, learning and his belief in organic farming were the basis of his success as a humble farmer in his community.

The drastic shift of mode of production in the society affects the very existence of every human being. It affects the relations, outlooks and practices of the people, particularly, the experienced of every farmers in the Philippines in which traditional method of farming are eventually vanishing from their practices because of the new approaches and method instilled by media, private corporations and government.

However, even this is actually happening at the ground level, there are still optimistic farmers that continuously believe in organic farming- just like one of the farmers in Zamboanga Del Sur, Mr. Boncale who consistently perform natural farming in his 2 hectares of land. He shared that learning the strategy and method of organic farming (such as foliar fertilizer and botanical spray) was the best information he got after experiencing failure in farming by using chemical fertilizer. From this bad experienced, Mr. Boncale shows determination by asking information and attending seminars regarding organic farming where he could gain essential knowledge.

According to the information he gained, organic farming can be defined as simple farming, no need for chemical fertilizers as well as pesticides and could really help to our ecosystem. It just like going to the basic agriculture. Also, Organic farming is the response to conventional farming where crops are often sprayed with chemicals that may cause some serious health conditions for farmers and consumers. That’s the main reason why he opted to learn and practice organic farming because of great result not just for myself and family but as well as helping our environment.

A part from experiences and information in organic farming he told us being a farmer, they really need capital to start with the cultivation and production especially when you have 2 or more hectares of land. He added, it’s really important when you have both capital and knowledge and skills in organic farming where you can yield 70% and eventually will reach to 90% per hectares. And last year, Mr. Boncale yielded a total of 124 sacks and 60kg per sack from his 1.5 hectares by consistently use botanical spray and organic fertilizer made locally from available resource. It shows a really great result from his determination and belief in organic farming and creating an enormous impact to all farmers who are still engaging in chemical for their cultivation and rejecting organic farming.

Mr. Boncale also consider that there are a lot of critics saying that organic farming cannot provide the same high yields as chemical farming, He argue that at least their land is safe; that they have not invested in buying the chemicals and increasing their cost of cultivation. If you look at the recklessness by most farmers nowadays, then you will understand that all those farmers who committed suicides have built up huge debts.

The debts kept growing because of borrowing at high interest rates for buying these chemicals which promised to increase the yield. In the end, it only increased their debts, he explains.

Triumph in Organic Farming in the Philippines: A Story of Mrs. Pino in Zamboanga Del Sur

Mrs. Pino is an active member of KASAMAKA which one of the few grassroots organizations in Mindanao campaigning Organic Farming in Zamboanga Del Sur. She is very grateful by her Organization because of the learning she acquired from theory to practice about organic farming. She explained the same with other farmers she also had tragic experienced in farming by using chemicals in cultivation to the extent her husband and children acquired illness. After this bad experienced she was very dishearten by the decreasing harvest, affecting family’s health and the income situation had become so hopeless.

But then again Mrs. Pino’s determination and interest in learning new method in farming resonates to a positive outcome in her life as a farmer. At first, she have doubtful in applying organic farming in her cultivation however after she joined one of the seminars and series of discussions about organic farming in Balongatin, Zamboanga Del Sur organized by CONZARRD and KASAMAKA her hesitation in organic farming was eventually die out by learning all those great inputs and demo. She begins applying organic farming with her ¼ hectares and she was surprised by the results, her cultivation costs were reduced, the soil’s fertility on my farm has improved and my income has increased.

After using organic farming for four years, Mrs. Pino already has 2 Hectares of land. While she is very active in her cultivation, she was also very consistent in gaining new information about organic farming with the help of her Organization. Because of this, she tried to develop vermi cast. She explained, they started from two (2) sacks and right now our construction is going because we are hoping, two months from now we are going to harvest 300 sacks of vermin cast with that result they could also give vermin cast to their interested neighbors. Aside from vermin cast, they also develop vegetable sources and waste of duck.

Through their consistent efforts and initiatives in organic farming, one of the government agencies in zamboanga del sur came to visit and saw the appealing model farm, with that, they decided to support by giving farm machineries and they also gave 12kgs of African night crawler which they added up to the reproduction. Last year, they also join in provincial competition as recommended by the municipal agriculturist on organic farm display and fortunately, they won the competition.

Aside from being an active member of KASAMAKA, she is also a president in commune irrigation system in their community which an add-on to her advocacy to encourage her constituents in organic farming. Recently, the government of zamboanga del sur turn over the rehabilitation dam which cost 7.5 million. The irrigation will help the 80 hectares in Dagohoy and Guipos zamboanga del sur.

The KASAMAKA and CONZARRD are committed to give seminar and training to all interested farmers in Zamboanga Del Sur. They continuously encourage farmers to apply organic farming as one of alternative mechanism to combat climate change instead of using chemical fertilizer that certainly harms the environment and people’s health.

She added, considering that there are farmers are always hesitant is using organic farming because of the meticulous processes and expensiveness but we want stress out instead of purc

hasing vermin cast or natural pest repellents, we could maximize other means such as African night crawler, foliar fertilizer, waste of animals or any organic manures made from locally available resources. Through this, it will reduce your expenditure in cultivation.

Recently, the average of last cropping was 120 sacks per hectare and 70kgs per sack. It really indicates positive outcome through the use of organic farming.

Moreover, aside from raw to production processes they also engage in income generating programs by marketing their products (e.g., rice, atsal, etc.).

Mrs. Pino’s story is one of the vivid manifestations of triumph experience to all farmers and climate advocate, believing that the organic farming is an alternative solution to attain sustainable development and response to the climate change.

A Summary on the Dimensions of Political Apathy and Political Participation

1.1 Some Determinants of Political Apathy

Political Apathy is a very widespread phenomenon in American Culture.

  • serious malfunctioning of democracy
  • Political theorists, favorable behavior rather than by broad cleavage, and is basically stable.

General Criterion:

(1) Political Involvement (2) knowledge (3) activity

If we accept the view that democratic ideal encourages political interest and participation then the question naturally arises: [MAIN QUESTION] what are these factors which bring about the absence of political interest and participation?

THREE GENERAL FACTORS:

(1) Threatening consequences of political activity

(2) Futility of political Activity

(3) Absence of spurs to interest and participation

THREATENING CONSEQUENCES OF POLITICAL ACTIVITY

The democratic right of freedom of speech does not insure that people will feel free to express their political convictions publicly at all times. (a) Threat of governmental action will deter some. (b) Threat to interpersonal harmony, others will be blocked from talking or acting in behalf of their political beliefs out of fear of losing friends, alienating neighbors, endangering marriages; jeopardizing their positions in groups, (c) threats to occupational success: losing business, jeopardizing their jobs, endangering production in their plants; (d) threats of ego-deflation: facing community pressures, or exposing their feeling of self-esteem to threats.

These are consequences which many people are unwilling to face and to avoid these consequences, they impose a self-censorship on their political expression, participation, and even emotional involvement.

FUTILITY OF POLITICAL ACTIVITY

(a) Based on the sense of personal inadequacy

(b) Unmanageability of political forces

(c) The gap between ideal and reality

Many people may be deterred from political activity by the conviction that their efforts will be futile. An individual may feel that he/she us but one among so many; that the agents of political decisions- representatives, machines, “the government”, certain powerful anonymous forces- are unable or unwilling to heed his voice of follow his/her will; that the political reality is hopelessly remote from the ideal; or that the hopelessness of political victory makes any effort pointless.

It may be observed that these consequences of apathy derive from the particular nature of the social and political structures. The mass nature of the society, characterized by wide disparities of power, remotes the sense of personal insignificance; the centralization of government fosters a sense of remoteness from the key decision-making process; periodic election produce discontinuous exercise of power; the system of representation draws power from the citizen and grants it to the representative.

In other words, a political structure established with the aim of implementing democracy may unwittingly establish the conditions for political apathy.

ABSENCE OF SPURS TO ACTION

It is also relevant to examine the question of apathy in the light of the absence of influences, stimuli, or appeals which might encourage participation.

Under this factor there are three underlying attributes coming from the respondent’s interview:

(a) The Subject Matter of Politics is often not psychologically compelling

Since the political institution deals with problems of the total society, involving subject of general interest and concern, it tends to have an abstract or impersonal quality. However, for many people, they still remain, dull, remote and uninspiring

(b) Absence of noninstrumental gratification

Some people might conceivably engage in political activity because they enjoyed it, even if the goals they sought were not attained. However, there are individual’s incentive to political activity is often dulled by the absence of direct and immediate satisfaction even if there is monetary rewards or prestige. And some people find their current activity much more directly gratifying than political activity.

(c) Political results meet few direct and urgent needs

Politics may be viewed as a moderately interesting spectacle, but one that is remote from the direct concerns of daily life, they voluntarily alienate herself/himself in politics. An example of this: the man who wants an apartment usually does not attempt to get one by lobbying for federal housing project; rather, he consults agents, newspapers or friends. Another is, woman who wants lower food prices ordinarily does not attempt to achieve it by joining citizen’s committee striving to apply pressure on congress; rather she goes blocks out of her way to shop at a super-market whose price are lower than those of the neighborhood grocer.

Further, governmental action is considered irrelevant to their lives. They do not conceive of the government as an agent which can solve their immediate and pressing problems.

(d) People often lack a personal thrust to action

Personal influence may be of great importance in determining political attitudes and behavior. The data suggest that interpersonal factor may operate in several different ways to promote apathy or discourage participation.

  • Interpersonal factors may operate in several ways to promote political apathy
  • the individual may receive no positive encouragement from others to participate.
  • the guilt feeling arising from individual’s inactivity may be assuaged by the observation that others in the community are also inactive.
  • an individual, ready for action, may be discouraged by the observation that the apathy of other people increases his/her political work.
  • the individual may be a member of a group in which political apathy is a positive group norm- group which would discourage political action.

Some people might consider it a social responsibility to participate politically may be reassured by the observation that most other people are apathetic.

CHALLENGE AND OPPURTUNITY:

In this article, they suggested several factors which is some cases contribute to political apathy. That these factors have some significance is clearly suggested by data, but their relative importance, their statistical distribution among various population sub groups, and their interrelationships must remain subject for more systematic research.

Favorable rather than broader cleavage: because they feel there is no need to do anything; they are contented with the social and political system (standard of living), have faith in their representatives, see no need for change.

Some people do not participate actively because of the incertitude of their political convictions; to tem politics may be confusing, complicate, and contradictory, other may be exhausted by the pressure of other activities to pay much attention to it and among others. These and other factors would have to be examined before an adequate understanding of the determinants of political apathy could be achieve.

Symptom of the malfunctioning of democracy: What can be done about it? This is obviously a crucial area for social research.

On the other hand,

2. SENSE OF POLITICAL EFFICACY AND POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

Sense of political efficacy may be defined as the feeling that individual political action does have, or can have, an impact upon the political process. And it is the feeling that political and social change is possible, and that the individual citizen can play a part in bringing about this change.

Political Efficacy = Political Participation

It would be positively related to political participation based on the conducted study during 1952 election. The study clearly indicates that the higher one’s sense of political efficacy, the higher the level of his/ her participation. And these two variable is consistent throughout.

It also indicates in the study that there is reflection of educational indifferences [those respondents who attended college rank high on this scale compared with 15 per cent of those who have completed no more that grade schools.] and socio-economic status are also highly related to political efficacy. [Income and occupation]

Thus, the effect of differing levels of political efficacy is not as great for the more socially and politically advantaged citizenry as it is for the less socially and politically advantaged.

Reference:

Morris Rosenberg

Angus Campbell

Gerald Gurin

Warren E. Miller