A Woman’s Advocacy on Organic Farming

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Evangeline Guden Luceño, an advocate of organic farming, continues her passion by producing and selling her certified organic products to benefit the people and the community

“Vangie”, as her friends call her, is an active member of the Rural Improvement Club (RIC) in Pagadian City. She was blessed with a loving and supportive husband and four children. She is an advocate of organic farming.

Her plan to build a business started when she attended the National Training on Herbal Plants Production and Processing of Alternative Medicines on April 7 to 9, 2014 at Remnant Institute of Alternative Medicine (RIAM), La Paz, Iloilo City, which was conducted by the Agricultural Training Institute. After the training, she was given a peppermint planting material and propagated it. After sometime, she was able to establish her own peppermint garden, and started to process her plants as peppermint tea and balm.

The Trial

Later, she encouraged other farmers and even her relatives to plant peppermint for them to have an extra income. However, the farmers were discouraged when El Niño hit their place, and all their plants were damaged. She almost lost hope but still continued her passion and regained her farmers’ trust.

This woman tried her best to continue what she started. She found ways to have a continuous supply of her own products.

She propagated her peppermint plants in different places where there are plenty of water, so that she would still be able to supply the orders of her customers.

The Courage

During El Niño and La Niña seasons, she thought of making another product aside from the peppermint. She is also processing sambong and kalachuchi, since these plants are abundant and not seasonal. These are being made into balm and ointments.

The Change

For this passion, she was recognized by different government agencies and even served as a resource speaker of different events, like the Mindanao Climate Change Summit 2015 in Bukidnon; National RIC Convention in Zamboanga City last 2015; and other activities where she can share her knowledge on herbs production and processing. Her products are already distributed not only in Pagadian City but also to the different parts of the Philippines. She has always participated in various trainings which enhanced her capability to develop and create more products particularly on herbs.

The Strength

A business will always start from having nothing, if you have the courage and determination, then do something. Nothing will happen if you don’t risk it. As she said, “we should do our best among ourselves… bit by bit but not until it’s lost, to be able to sustain the business”.

“If you are successful, it is because somewhere, sometime, someone gave you a life or an idea that started you in the right direction. Remember also that you are indebted to life until you help some less fortunate person, just as you were helped.”

- Melinda Gates (Philanthropist)

Story by: Belly Joy T. Arpay

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Extension services continue to evolve. With the challenges that extension workers and farmers face, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) continues to explore various strategies to improve its efforts as the extension and training arm of the Department of Agriculture. In over 30 years, the ATI has celebrated various successes and learned from the lessons during hard times. Nonetheless, we are proud to be standing the test of time through the support of our partners and the clientele themselves. This is the ATI Today, more committed to bring you extension services beyond boundaries.