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Lady farmer from Goa, Camarines Sur honored by FAO as ‘Model Farmer’

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A lady farmer from the Philippines was one of four recipients from the Asia-Pacific region of the “Model Farmer” Award given by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on the occasion of the 33rd celebration of World Food Day on October 16 at the FAO Regional Office in Bangkok.  The other awardees were from Bhutan, Tonga, and Thailand.

 

Mrs.  Myrna Conmigo Asor of Goa, Camarines Sur, was recognized for her pioneering efforts on organic farming and the training she provides for other farmers and agriculture students in her hometown in Camarines Sur. She personally received the award from Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn who presided over the ceremony.

Mrs. Asor first went into organic farming in 2002 with the help of a non-governmental organization, extension workers of a local government unit and technical staff from the Department of Agriculture. Proving her doubters and cynical fellow farmers wrong, Mrs. Asor’s venturing into organic farming of garlic and various rice varieties turned out to be successful.  She learned how to make her own natural fertilizer, create a seed bank and apply integrated pest management. She abandoned mono-cropping in favor of crop diversity so she could become more self-sufficient. 

Ms. Asor has since ventured into livestock-raising (goats, carabaos, and cattle) and fish production (pangasius, tilapia and shellfish).  She is now also into value-adding (pili pulp oil, guyabanao, balingbing and pineapple fermented juices). 

“My decision to go into organic farming has enabled my family to break free from the vicious cycle of debt that has plagued farmers in my hometown for years,” she proudly said. “I am living proof that farming can be profitable and that poverty does not have to be a hindrance to success,’’ she added. (Department of Foreign Affairs, Manila, Oct. 17, 2013)

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