After years of being a conventional farmer, Marines Takingan has now become a veritable poster boy for organic farming.
Belonging to a family of farmers in Benguet, Takingan, like his parents and ancestors, relied heavily on chemical pesticides and commercial fertilizers to grow his crops. In time, long-term exposure to the hazardous chemicals took a toll on Takingan’s health. He suffered from a lung condition which forced him to slow down on his physical activities and eventually to close his business. He was in dire straits financially, he recalls.
He didn’t lose hope, fortunately. When he recovered, he learned organic farming. Soon, he was using the new techniques to grow organic vegetables in a small farm close to his home. He also resumed growing and selling cut flowers.
His farm now flourishes, equipped with greenhouses that makes farming less susceptible to weather conditions. He has learned to inter-crop too, that is, grow different kinds of crops that enabled him to offer different kinds vegetables all year round.
In time, the organic farmer was able to build an extension to improve his greenhouses. He also purchased a motorcycle, a hand tractor, and a house in Central Baguio that he will soon rent out.
Takingan acknowledges the help of ECLOF, the Ecumenical Church Foundation, Inc., which has been extending to him micro finance loans since 2005.
Excerpted from: bworldonline.com