Mike Pedroso Farms: Ovecoming Challenges In Organic Farming
It was another organic journey for me and my fellow OA bloggers when we visited Eastern Visayas Philippines particularly in Samar and Leyte provinces for the Agricultural Training Institute Region VIII’s 6th KITS Journey under the OMRO (Orgnikong Magsasaka Ng Rehiyon Otso) Lakbay-Alay program. First stop… Mike Pedroso Farms which is located at Km.739 Diversion Highway Sitio Osog, Carayman, Calbayog, Samar.
KITS Journey stands for KNOWLEGDE, INPUTS, TECHNOLOGY, SHARING wherein established farmers in Region 8 with the help of ATI go around different organic farm learning sites like Mike Pedroso Farms to help out other farmers in Region 8 who are not being reached by the government, giving them materials, trainings and added information to make their farm more sustainable, productive and successful.
As part of OMRO’s advocacy to counter climate change, 5-10 percent of their farm’s materials such as seedlings were being given to other farmers for tree growing and reforestation. I was able to particiate in this Tree growing activity in Mike Pedroso Farms and it was really a nice feeling that in my own little way, I was able to contribute in the process of solving climate change.
I really admire the people of OMRO’s Lakbay Alay program. Their dedication, enthusiasm, passion and willingness to help other farmers is really heart-warming. I wish that the government could fully support this kind of program and advocacy not just for the sake of clean and safe food or the environment but also for the benefit of our farmers who are really working hard.
On the other hand, meet the owner of Mike Pedroso Farms… Engr. Mike Pedroso. His journey in farming started way back 1986 as an armchair farmer. After the time of edsa revolution, he subscribed on an agricultural magazine for two years and started to develop his love for farming while working in the corporate world. In 1999, he resigned from his job and pursue his dream of having a farm without knowing the challenges in farming, Mike Pedroso and realized why farmers are poor and remain poor because of the challenges.
One of the main challenges he encountered was infrastructure, where farm to market roads are not being prioritized by the government. Mike Pedroso even had to walk 1 kilometer just to reach his farm to bring in the seedlings. It’s a sad reality but despite of the challenges, he pursued. And for more than 5 years of doing so, he was able to establish his farm little by little.
Mike Pedroso Farms main crop is Jackfruit planted within the 2-hectare land which started year 2000 when the Philippine government offered the the “Plant now pay later on jackfruit production” program. In 2008, the farm was completely organic “by neglect”, meaning the land has been untouched and raw eversince even before the farm was built and started. So it is guaranteed chemical-free.
Mike Pedroso Farms is a diversified organic farm consisting of the following farm components:
- Rice Farming
- Vegetable Farming
- Goat/ Swine/ Native Chicken/ Carabao Raising
- Jackfruit and other fruit bearing trees farming
- Plant Nursery
For some value-adding income of the farm, Mike Pedroso Farms is producing Jackfruit Jam which is by the way so delicious. It’s a must try. In the near future, Mr. Mike Pedroso will be developing the farm further for agri-tourism specifically to offer wellness activities since a lot of joggers are passing near the farm.
Mike Pedroso Farms is still a work in progress. But with the undying passion and dedication of the farm’s owner, surely Mike Pedroso Farms’ future will be a brighter one.
For more information about Organic farming, you may visit:
Agricultural Training Institute | Home of e-Extension in the Philippines
Elliptical Road, Diliman Quezon City 1100 Philippines
Trunkline: (63-2) 9298541 to 49 1800-10-982AGRI (or 1800-10-9822474)
-for provincial toll-free calls 02-982-AGRI (or 982-2474) – for Metro Manila
Fax no. (63-2) 9209792
Department of Agriculture www.da.gov.ph