Organic Farmer Norma L. Bautista
Norma L. Bautista is an organic farmer living with her husband and daughter in Tigaon, Philippines. Her family own a ¾ hectare plot of farmland where they practise organic farming, growing a variety of high-value crops, fruit trees, and vegetables. Before the family took the brave leap and started their own agribusiness on their land, Norma worked on a private farm, earning around PHP1,500 (AU$40) per month. Now, the household income is around PHP5,000 (AU$132) per month.
In 2015, Norma joined several farmers cooperatives and organic farming organisations in order to increase her knowledge in farming and develop her practical skills. Through these memberships, she has met other farmers who have been able to advise her on organic practices and new farming systems. She currently holds the role of Secretary of The Agri Planters and Food Processors Association of Tigaon (TAPFPAT) and Treasurer of MATAPAT Agri-Coop.
“Having a small business is very challenging because it is the actual application of what is learnt in training. All the resources on my farm are maximised. Dana Asia has assisted organic farmers through capital and capacity building to meet our basic needs in farming and through this, supported us to achieve higher income. In the future I hope to access further capital in order to make improvements on my farm and introduce lots of innovations in the structures and equipment to sustain my agri-preneurial activities.”Norma L. Bautista
Organic farmers face many challenges in the Philippines, which are worsening with climate change. Weather conditions are becoming more extreme and supplies of planting materials and seeds are unstable. As a solution to this, Norma wants to develop her own seed bank to improve resilience through difficult times. In the future she wants to be able to produce a higher quantity and higher quality of fruits and vegetables and become a seedling and planting materials supplier. In addition, she wants to produce processed products derived from the farm, such as pickled vegetables and chutneys.