18 February 2018
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  • » 02/13/2018, 17.15


    The diocese of San Jose promoting organic farming

    Santosh Digal

    Farming is the main activity for 80 per cent of the population of a region known as the country’s rice greenery. The local Church has undertaken various social development initiatives, including women’s empowerment and a feeding programme for children.

    Manila (AsiaNews) - The diocese of San Jose, in northern Philippines, has decided to promote integrated organic agriculture to empower farmers.

    Speaking to AsiaNews, the local bishop, Mgr Roberto Calara Mallari, said that the initiative is designed to meet the needs of the local population, "80 per cent of whom are farmers, who need the Church’s support and guidance. Through the diocesan Social Services Centre, farmers acquire skills and know-how to boost the local economy.

    The diocese is about 130 km from the capital Manila, in the province of Nueva Ecija. Created in 1984, it is suffragan to the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan. Some 700,000 Catholics live in the area, served by 45 priests and 20 nuns in 21 parishes.

    The most recent challenges are illegal mining, the rise of rebel groups and unstable weather.

    The region is known as the country’s rice greenery, with rice as the staple food, Mgr Mallari said. "Our farmers don’t know how to grow organic rice. We encourage them to opt for medicinal plants, as well as indigenous alternative medicine.”

    The diocese is also involved in "empowering women,” the prelate said. “Women need skills to take advantage of job opportunities. Through the diocesan family life [programme], we are trying to empower them to become agents of social change.”

    Likewise, the diocese has “feeding programme” for children “so that they can have a healthy life.” In fact, “For a child, nutritious food is important to grow into a healthy person.”

    “When children lack nutritious food, their brain development is affected. When that happens, they may not develop into productive adults later.” At the same time, “Our feeding programme is part of a broader social project.”

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    See also

    03/09/2007 PHILIPPINES
    Cardinal Rosales calls for an end to violence in the south during Ramadan
    A few days from the start of the Muslim holy month, the archbishop of Manila and other prelates call on the government and the guerrillas to end the hostilities which affect the civilian population and cause desperation across the country.

    15/09/2009 PHILIPPINES
    Libmanan Church launches organic farming
    Diocese through the Prelature of Libmanan Development Foundation (Pldfi) helps small farmers to join cooperatives providing high technology for a better quality of agricultural production.

    27/05/2004 CAMBODIA
    Cambodian farmers turn to organic rice as demand from the West rises

    18/06/2010 INDONESIA
    Central Java: training for farmers in new agricultural practices and environmental ethics
    A Jesuit priest in cooperation with a Christian university organises programme to educate farmers in new agricultural practices and ethical principles. Backed with their new knowledge, they can improve their life and daily work.

    20/05/2015 CARITAS - INDIA
    Caritas India: Organic farming to counter rising famer suicides
    In 2014 at least 1,109 farmers took their lives: 986 in Maharashtra alone. Workers go into debt to buy fertilizers and pesticides, but the crops fail and they cannot repay the bills. The Executive Director Fr. Frederick D'Souza speaks to AsiaNews about the Catholic Charity’s response to the emergency.

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