By Sahlie P. Lacson
One valuable lesson shared by one farm owner in Batangas amid lockdown is the value of unity and consolidation among food producers in order to ensure market and generate income.
The government, the Department of Agriculture (DA) in particular, supports cooperatives, farmer groups or organizations rather than individuals farming on their own. Why? For one, farmer groups help small-scale farmers; the scope in the dissemination of information, as well as access to new technologies and farming know-how in the form of seminars and training are wider and easier here. Connections and linkages to ensure product market are also established through groups.
In times of increasing problems caused by climate change or any unexpected situations just like lockdown or community quarantine, farmer groups are able to guide farmers on picking the best varieties of crops to grow that can aid people with their changing needs. Help from private stakeholders could also easily be channeled benefiting more farmers.
There are actually more and more benefits to being part of a farmer group, and that is why this farmer is thankful that she is part of a cooperative so she has no problem marketing their harvest.
As in any endeavor, when people work together, things become lighter.