The Maraiging Mamanwa Farmers Skilled Workers Association (MAMAFASWAS), one of First Gen Puyo’s stakeholders, showcased its pilot farm in Brgy. Maraiging, Jabonga, Agusan del Norte on Aug. 24-25.
The pilot farm is part of the Mamanwa Agroforestry Social Enterprise Development Plan (MA-SEDP), a community-building initiative implemented by First Gen through SEARCH Foundation and MAMAFASWAS, a group led by the Mamanwa indigenous people (IP).
During the farm showcase, MAMAFASWAS brought the guests to the 2,000-square meter farm at the center of their community. A Mamanwa ritual officially opened the pilot farm, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony and the most exciting part of the farm experience, which saw the group harvesting ampalaya, kalabasa, talong, sitaw, atsal (bell pepper) and tomatoes—kumpletos rekados for pinakbet! The guests also planted more vegetable seedlings alongside the Mamanwas.
On the second day, the Department of Trade and Industry conducted a gamified workshop, “EntreFarm,” for the members of MAMAFASWAS. “EntreFarm” is similar to Monopoly, but is about managing farms.
To complete the celebration, a talent variety show and a cooking contest using the vegetables harvested from the farm were held.
With First Gen’s commitment to uplift the lives of the indigenous community in Jabonga, a collaboration amongst groups for MA-SEDP started in June 2021. It involved First Gen partnering with SEARCH Foundation to craft a community-based entrepreneurship plan with MAMAFASWAS.
SEARCH Foundation specializes in mobilizing grassroots communities through social enterprises and inclusive businesses. With their help and expertise, a series of planning, research and consultations was undertaken with the IP group to tailor-fit the project to them. Technical and marketing workshops were then conducted with the help of Ragas Farms of Cabadbaran City, the first family-based agritourism farm in Caraga and an accredited Agricultural Training Institute trainer. (Story/Photos by: Dianne Datu)