For one to understand… Having educated children has created problems, however, since their expectations are different from their parents. According to the UNCTAD 4 fair trade and organic banana production has been increasing. I’ve been able to go abroad to Hanoi, China and Japan as part of my job.”, Family relationships changed as well. Today TADECO uses the labor of 764 of the prison’s 6,115 inmates, justifying it as part of their rehabilitation towards eventual social reintegration. “In FARMCOOP we didn’t know what contract to propose,” Apuzen remembers. The barangay really has no money for it, so in the meantime we have the tradition of bayanihan. The sigatoka fungus affects the leaves of the banana plant, producing brown spots and black streaks. Photo copyright © 2020 by David Bacon. You will become growers and your bananas will enjoy a good price, being organic.’”, “When our tribal community agreed to have FARMCOOP come in we were attracted by their respectful organizing methods,” explains Fortunato Tungkaling, a member of SADOPCO’s Board of Directors. The banana ketchup story endures Maria Orosa’s most enduring food product is probably banana ketchup. They dragged the picketers onto busses and took them to Carmen, a nearby town. “When the law was debated the NFL didn’t push actively for it. Photo copyright © 2020 by David Bacon. Per capita income was less than 36,000 pesos/year ($720 US) – far below the Philippines’ poverty line. “We are responding to the challenging realities of rural underdevelopment in the backdrop of rapid environmental degradation,” explains Kahlil Apuzen-Ito. To comply with the international requirements for organic certification the farmers will apply only botanical pesticides, organic fertilizers and other processes compatible with organic farming.”. To download a PDF version of this Issue Brief, click here. Bananas are a good source of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Ping-ay chairs the Congress’ Committee on Cooperatives Development and Paez is vice-chair. Barangay Sibulan is among the few remaining upland communities in Davao City that remained untouched by the invasion of monocrop and chemical-based banana production. “The 37 coops in this region supported my election in 2016,” he explains. This has given many of them an alternative to becoming targets of the multinational corporations and their Philippine partners, who prowl for land to lease at minimal rentals, and for a low-cost workforce to provide the necessary labor. There growers switched to a different variety, the Cavendish, which seemed to be immune to the disease, and which then became the variety cultivated everywhere. Strikers were expelled, and afterwards ate and slept under tarps at the edge of the highway. Emilyn Janolino, a Bagobo FARMCOOP Project team member in Sibulan, says tribal members have learned about indigenous micro-organisms. Instead, the tree produces one large bunch of fruit, and after it is harvested the plant itself is cut down by the harvester. “The company promised we would make big profits if we produced over 3000 boxes of bananas a day, but even after meeting that goal, our coops lost money,” explains Eleuteria Chacon, chairperson of the coop at Checkered Farms. We offer them a loan if they’re in need. “I hope they appreciate that. It allowed the company take over management of the coop if it failed to follow “prescribed cultural practices.” The coop now owes 720 million pesos, and coop members are desperately looking for someone else to buy it just to settle the debt. Since the start of US colonization, different Philippine governmental administrations all proposed some degree of land reform, often simply to head off revolts like that of the Sakdalistas in the 1930s, or the Huks in the Cold War years after independence. However, the production volume changes during off season and peak season. The coops were responsible for paying the cost as calculated by Stanfilco, which then turned over the net proceeds. Now, there are none. According to Teodoro Tadtad, former manager of DARBMUPCO, “Now that lands are depleted, the challenge for us coop leaders is the improvement of our lands, the capability of the soil to produce.” However, according to the Center for Trade Union Rights report, “This dependence on monocrop plantations is dangerous for future generations as massive degradation of soil can lead to unproductive yield and thus become unsustainable. The organization developed a protocol for transition from high-chemical to low-chemical farming, and implemented it on this farm. Photo copyright © 2020 by David Bacon. Most households do not have electricity and use kerosene lamps for light, and get their water from springs. Edit them in the Widget section of the, POEMS: “The comfort zone” (making your dreams come true), http://www.bananalink.org.uk/all-about-bananas, Zen Stories: “An Empty Boat” by Kamal @ Boundless Blessings (re-blogged), “Dreams must be” by Earth sky air (re-blogged), Uplifting poems: “A song of Life” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Spiritual poems: “The Truth teller” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Our Earth and all its life poems: “Life goes on” by M. Linda Steffey, Spirituality from Daily Word: “Grateful” (Espiritualidad de la Palabra Diaria: “Gratitud”), A quote on respecting “the mind that stirs in every creature” by Gerard de Nerval (1808 –1855), A quote from Neale Donald Walsch on “This too shall pass”. So the bananas have brought a lot of good to our children. Bananas aren’t feasible here. Soluble fiber in food is a type of fiber especially associated with decreased risk of heart disease, making regular intake of bananas a potentially helpful approach to lowering your heart disease risk. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. After deducting expenses like Sigatoka pest management, drainage, bridge repairs and road maintenance, farmers got about $2 per box. Their agenda was the reorganization of the government’s Cooperative Development Authority to make it more responsive to the coops. In agriculture the land is the basic force of production. It’s something you can give to your children.”. On December 4, according to Antonio Edillon, a Diamond Farms banana harvester, over 500 armed men attacked 100 people on the picket line. Apuzen explains: “Distribution of the land to the farmworkers was a fulfillment of what we had been teaching them as a political union – that in order for workers to win social and economic justice the forces of production must be placed in their hands. Some are still fearful, though, and haven’t returned yet. They were so engrossed with each other that they didn’t realize Selya’s father would be coming home soon. In 1991 there were over 11 million landless farming families, about 40% of the total agricultural population and a number that had more than doubled in 20 years. We still have a lot of difficulty because of the lack of decent roads, and the coop and the barangay are trying to get support for more. With their different context in terms of style, history, and cultural, the symbols and meanings of the artworks are depicted. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Paez explained that “a true coop doesn’t start with financial capital, but with social capital. sah-BAH or sahb-AH), is a triploid hybrid (ABB) banana cultivar originating from the Philippines. Change ), This is a text widget. He says he’s going to work here and someday be the one to take over the farm.”, At Checkered Farms the coop made a commitment to pay office and support workers the normal salary that they might receive in a similar position in Davao City or Manila. - Banana Clothing - the fibre from the trunk of the banana or pseudostem is … Even more conservative unions, like the Associated Labor Union, negotiated for workers in some of Mindanao’s corporate agricultural enterprises. On a local level, Ramsi Adran was elected a Davao municipal councilor. Apuzen adds, “After two weeks they sent a message saying they preferred FARMCOOP over the others. Bananas are said to have originated 10,000 years ago in New Guinea’s Kuk valley. That gave the company the ability to impose the kind of contract it wanted.” The Department of Agrarian Reform allowed Stanfilco to retain ownership of the roads on the plantations, the cableways needed to bring the bunches into the packing shed, and the packing plants themselves. According to the legend, being a farmer like Selya’s father, the arms of the man were string and roughened by the sun from tilling the rice fields. By blocking absorption, they help us keep our blood cholesterol levels in check. For two decades people in the HEARBCO-1 coop wound up chained to the old owners, and then to their successors, the Lapanday Company, which belongs to the wealthy Lorenzo family. A total of 36.88 percent, 798,497.959 MT, is attributed by China. Our emphasis is preventive, versus the government’s curative approach. The company refused. So even though Kuk is […] FARMCOOP published a 7-point program by Koronado Apuzen, which called on the coops to become the voice of the marginalized, win 1.2 million votes, and get coop leaders to participate in local elections. Just a few years after getting rid of the onerous contracts, FARMCOOP began urging its member coops to begin exploring organic farming, partly because of the rising issue of sustainability, but also because of changes in the international market for bananas. Jimmy Ancia, who today is manager of the Sibulan Ancestral Domain Organic Cooperative (SADOPCO), remembers that “During the 1980s there was a lot of armed conflict here, with the government Battalion 3646. “There was no road to most of them, and when we set up the first packing shed people had to bring in the bananas on horses. Since then more experimental plots have been set up connected to the ARB coops, to compare hi-chem and low-chem production. The law was set to expire in 1998, but was extended for another ten years, and given a new appropriation, by the administration of President Fidel Ramos. We face the continuous encroachment of multinational corporations into the heart of watershed areas of Davao City, displacing indigenous people from their ancestral domains. Since then, the plant has been called “Saging” or banana. After seeing the result, FARMCOOP and Apuzen realized that the only solution was to force the abrogation of the “onerous” contracts, and the negotiation of new ones. Selya’s parents were against Aging when they found out about his interest in their daughter. How did the plant originate according to the legends? “We didn’t know the intricacies of the banana business, or what kind of arrangement would be best for the coops. With the introduction of the project the coop now provides work to the community. But instead of receiving wages and a dividend based on the coop’s income, the income of each farmer depends on the productivity of their individual land.”. Another allowed land transferred to workers to be sold after ten years. 6657, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). Fusarium wilt attacks the roots of the plant, and sigatoka its leaves. US and European rubber corporations set up latex plantations in Basilan. On the Checkered Farms plantation there are about 80 hired workers. He comes from a DARBMUPCO coop family, and worked for FARMCOOP as a technical advisor. Banana ketchup (or banana sauce) is a popular Philippine fruit ketchup condiment made from mashed banana, sugar, vinegar, and spices.Its natural color is brownish-yellow, but it is often dyed red to resemble tomato ketchup.Banana ketchup was first produced in the Philippines during World War II, due to a lack of tomatoes and a comparatively high production of bananas. “Before, we had no jobs and no work. “But our men are good, gentle, kind and morally upright. The coop members, referred to as Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) also received dividends from the coop itself. Until the 1960s the variety of banana grown commercially worldwide was called Gros Michel. In 2014 SOBAGROMCO received organic certification from Woorinong in South Korea, and the Organic Certification Center of the Philippines. Saba banana (pron. At the edge of one road company managers ordered their guards to shoot, and two coop members were killed. We have a saying, that if you don’t drink coffee, you’re not a Bagobo.” Women are represented in the leadership of all the coops, and manage one, and provide non-violence training to coop members. He burst with wrath and ran to the house to swing a sharp bolo (knife similar to a machete) at the young man. A second type of cardiovascular benefit from bananas involves their sterol content. Yet coconut farmers are among the poorest. The code was signed by a large number of Mindanao unions and employers. And if we have to, the coop can buy the land to makes sure it stays in the coop.”, As they get older, coop members also rely more on hiring people to do the work in the banana groves. The country procures 71.74 percent year-on-year during the year. We try to introduce new techniques, but we’re careful to add to what the community already has.”. There were holes in the law. It still cost a million pesos to pour concrete for just 100 meters of road.”, At the same time, six banana coops and individuals formed the Organic Producers and Exporters Corporation (OPEC), to provide organic and low-chem food products access to domestic and international markets. “Our lives now have increased by 500% compared to what we had before. While a U.S. colony, the Philippines welcomed investment by multinational corporations. Both are fungus infestations. Dr. Modesto Recel explained, “We’re doing this gradually and hoping our partner-coops will see the wisdom of reducing the use of chemical fertilizer and synthetic pesticides. One guard in camouflage fatigues, his head wrapped in a bandanna and holding an AR-16, said he worked for Stanfilco, a division of Dole Philippines, Inc. Jean Lacamento, now a board member of the DARBMUPCO cooperative, remembers that “for three months we lived under the banana trees. The National Historical Commission of the Philippines credits the ingenious method of using banana as the base ingredient for ketchup to food technician and war heroine Maria Ylagan Orosa. A medium-sized banana contains only 95 calories, and provides a quick-but-sustained energy boost in a natural, nutritious and easily digestible form with no fat, cholesterol or sodium. Chemical stations stop everyone on the roads leading into the Davao plantations. Banana plantations in the Philippines can grow bananas all year long. Because they lack formal education families can’t open bank accounts, and therefore are excluded from access to formal capital to improve their farms. So if placed in the hands of workers, we have attained that goal … some kind of socialist society or setup, in the context of agrarian reform.” Jesus Relabo, a founder of the coop on the DABCO plantation, says simply, “Owning the land is forever. And the duration of the contracts was at least ten years. According to the legend, their meeting continued for months unseen by anyone They enjoyed each other’s company and soon they fell in love. Bananas were introduced to Africa by Arabian traders and discovered there in 1482 A.D. by Portuguese explorers who took them to the Americas, the place where the majority of bananas are now produced. It is believed that Chinese immigrants from the Fujian province brought this dish to Southeast Asia, and that it’s popularity spread from there. By 2007 the Philippines had become the world’s third-largest producer of Cavendish bananas, after Ecuador and Costa Rica, much of them coming from the Davao plantations. New trees are propagated by planting suckers from old ones. “Our life changed,” explains Carmela Pedregosa, the coop’s manager, “from being plantation workers to being owners of the land. FARMCOOP itself started its first five-acre farm of organic bananas in 2002 – Mindanao Organic Ventures Enterprises, in Maligatong, in Davao City. A 2006 study, however, by the Department of Health found that aerial spraying of pesticides was having negative effects on the health of residents, and the following year Davao City passed an ordinance prohibiting aerial spraying. Yussi Titio washes bananas in the DARBCO packing shed. While the percentage of land lost to Fusarium wilt in the four alliance coops is still small, other coops affiliated to FARMCOOP in neighboring regions of Mindanao have been devastated, with the CASAMA coops losing two-thirds of their productive area and one, TCBC, losing all of it. It started in Davao del Norte around the 60's and has flourished to eleven provinces with about 50,000 hectares of farmland. Photo copyright © 2020 by David Bacon. Ultimately we want them to use environment-friendly organic farm inputs to save Mother Earth.” A set of plots set up in 2015 went from gradual reduction of chemical fertilizers by 25% in the first year, another 50% the second year, 75% the third year and 100% the fourth year. According to a report by E.A. The roads are poor, and the fruit would be bruised getting it to a shed.”. “They also agreed not to cut trees, which is very important to our culture. In 2016 the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization found that contracts like the one at HEARBCO-1 cheat farmers through unlawful labor practices, no social protections and low lease rates. Another type of cardiovascular benefit from bananas involves their fiber content. The growing confrontation escalated into violence. A girl in the Compostela Valley flattens plastic sheets coated with Lorsban. By 2015 Unifrutti was paying $4.05, and that year raised it to $4.50, to eliminate “pole-vaulting”—a practice in which growers sell bananas to other buyers under the table who are willing to beat the contract price. “We’ve been able to educate them to become professionals,” says Ronald Valencia, chairman of the DARBCO-IFS coop. When the agrarian reform law was implemented, two groups formed the HEARBCO-1 and HEARBCO-2 cooperatives, winding up with the same kind of onerous contracts with no expiration dates. According to Ethel Apuzen, a nurse and veteran political activist who works with Koronado Apuzen on the Sibulan project, “This barangay is part of the city, but never got healthcare services or clinics. There was a lot of pressure from the bosses in the old days. That means that collectively we participate and contribute labor to projects we need. “The objective of this protocol is to verify and develop technologies for the conversion of conventional banana farms from high-chem to low-chem and to organic and finally to natural banana fruit production. The law in turn created the opening for plantation workers to gain control of land and use it to change the material conditions of their lives. In Maragusan, in Mindanao’s Compostela Valley, one worker described what happened when Stanfilco convinced the local people to acquiesce in allowing it to set up a banana plantation. Like DARBCO it also bought more land to expand production. When the Davao plantation coops were being organized in the mid-1990s, the workers at Hijo Plantation Inc., which belonged to the elite Tuazon and Lim families, formed the Association of Workers at the Hijo Plantation. The next year the DARBCO coop using the IFS produced 3836 boxes per hectare. In The Politics of Counter-Expertise on Aerial Spraying, Lisette J. Nikol & Kees Jansen assert that, “export banana production is jointly controlled by multinational corporations … and local landed elites, including the Philippine banana producing companies LADECO, TADECO and Davao Fruits, owned by the Lorenzo family, the Floirendo family and the Soriano family, respectively [through] the Pilipino Banana and Exporters Association (PBGEA) which operates like a cartel, controlling price levels of labor, land lease rates, and farm input and output markets.”. MANILA, Philippines – Philippine history is full of names who many have come to know as heroes: Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, and Apolinario Mabini, to name only a few. According to one study, after 12 years the Department of Agrarian Reform had redistributed 5.33 million hectares of land, 53.4 percent of the Philippines’ total farmland, to 3.1 million rural poor households. But a new variety of Fusarium called Tropical Race 4 appeared in southeast Asia in the 1990s. They listen, and if women suggest plans men consider them. It is believed that there are almost 1000 varieties of bananas in the world, subdivided in 50 groups. The earliest written evidence about the existence of bananas was found in the Buddhist Pali writings of the 6 th century BCE, which indicates that they had reached India by then. Commercial banana plantations therefore rely on the application of chemical fungicides to control disease, and chemical fertilizer to keep the soil productive. Its first project was marketing the highland organic bananas produced by the people of Sibulan. The coops set up a marketing arm, the Federation of ARB Banana-based Cooperatives of Davao (FEDCO) and by 2002 it had 16 member coops with 3,588 farmers owning 4,670 hectares of bananas. Photo copyright © 2020 by David Bacon. Eleuteria Chacon during the strike. The leaves of plants infected with Fusarium discolor and distort, and the plant eventually collapses and dies. Thirty years ago many banana workers in the Philippines made a radical change in their work and lives. However, unknown to the couple, Selya had met a young, tall man named Aging. Stanfilco was there. With the other companies we would have had to lease our land, and the trees would have been cut down to make plantations.”. FARMCOOP then developed an alliance with one of Mindanao’s indigenous communities, helping it start its own coops that combine the use of local traditions with organic and environmentally sustainable agriculture. They had to fight for market access and fair prices against the same companies that had been their employers. It is believed that the first domestication of this fruit took place in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. 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