Farm Tour: OMRO's KITS Journey at Mike Pedroso Farms

We arrived at Daniel Romualdez airport in Tacloban past three in the afternoon on the 10th of October, two days after the 3rd anniversary of typhoon Yolanda. From the airport we had to travel for five hours to reach the city of Calbayog. We arrived fifteen minutes past nine in the evening. Pardon for having no photos to share about my first meal in Samar. I was not feeling well during the entire van ride. We stayed in a convent like pastoral house in the city. They have this dormitory type accommodation in Tacloban city for guests especially nuns and priests.

Travel Story: OMRO's KITS Journey at Mike Pedroso Farms
I'm sharing a room with Jen. The next day we traveled less than an hour to our first farm visit in Samar, the Mike pedroso organic farm.

Where to stay in Samar

It was a beautiful, cold morning when we reached the farm. We passed by the green fields, slowly and carefully not to slip on the muddy soil. Farmer Mike Pedroso said it's been raining for several days.

Farm-Calbayog-City-Samar
Philippine-Carabao-in-Samar
Best-Jackfruit-Samar
Calbayog-Samar-Seafood

After 15 minutes or so, we finally reached the meeting hall which was still on the works. Our breakfast spread has hot pandesal served with jackfruit and guava jam, both are products of Mike Pedroso farm.

OMRO-Farmers-Samar

While having our coffee in the farm, the farmers started to introduce themselves including the members of OMRO or Organikong Magsasaka ng Rehiyon Otso led by its presiden Jun Paredes. OMRO is a group of farmers who are into organic and natural way of farming. One of their goals and mission is to help fellow farmers by sharing their knowledge, skills and even resources through their KITS Journey. One of the activities is the Lakbay Alay where they would visit different farms in the region to disseminate information especially the benefits of organic farming. That day, we are glad to meet traditional farmers and joined us in a small salo-salo.

OMRO Shared innovations and latest techniques in farming:

Knowledge, Inputs, Technology and Services are the main core values of OMRO. There was a discussion about the old and new challenges farmers met everyday. One is climate change, second is lack of water supply and low income. OMRO reminded fellow farmers that there should be hard work and perseverance (sipag and tyaga), strategies (diskarte) to achieve their farm goals. Example is doing plant/crop rotation and planting other types of crops aside from rice. Farmers should also include growing livestock or swine or piggery business. Incorporating organic fertilizers to their crops would be of great help not only to their crops but also to the environment and the consumers. One of them shared how he maximizes even a small space farm. The brilliant ideas and success stories of OMRO inspired traditional farmers to try organic farming in their respective lands. Hopefully, we could see and visit these converted traditional to organic farms in the future and be the next stories to be featured in every Organic Agriculture Bloggers websites.

Culminating the gathering was sharing of seedlings, organic fertilizers and other inputs to fellow farmers.

Lakbay-Aral-OMRO-farmers-Samar
OMRO-Lakbay-Alay-Tree-Panting

OA Bloggers participated in the Lakbay Alay through the tree growing activities. For the first time in our farm tours, I experienced planting a tree, a lauan tree to be exact. It would grow as big, tall and strong like other trees. Lauan tree could grow as high as 50 meters. It is also found in primary and secondary forests at low altitudes.

Mike Pedroso Organic Farm:

Mike-Pedroso-Farm

Mike Pedroso shared his plans and aspirations for the farm. He envision having a spa or wellness center where guests would enjoy healthy and organic food while relaxing. The farm is quite big so it's not impossible. Mike practices organic farming since it was started in 1996. It has 2 hectares of jack fruit. As a diversified farm it has variety of crops including rice and vegetables. He also grows goats, Philippine carabao, swine production and planning to venture into plant nursery. Mike is the author of the Integrated Management on Pest Management on jack fruit in the country.

Read more about our Organic Farm Tour Experiences in Southern Tagalog Region:

Special thanks to Agricultural Training Institute Central Office
ATI Building, Elliptical Road, Diliman
Quezon City 1100 Philippines
Trunkline: (63-2) 9298541 to 49
Fax no. (63-2) 9209792

After the tree planting, everyone enjoyed a simple yet sumptuous meal. We had fried fish, sinigang na hipon, freshly picked fruits. I am glad to have traveled to Calbayog City, visited Mike Pedroso's farm and met the Organikong Magsasaka ng Rehiyon Otso. Their stories are not only an inspiration to farmers. As a consumer, I salute our farmers for the hard work they do to provide food in our tables.

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