Testimonies from Nueva Valencia, Guimaras, Western Visayas Region

Pedro Gelera of Panobolon, a barangay island located in Nueva Valencia, Guimaras, Western Visayas Region, is one of the seaweed growers who partnered with DA-BAR under the project “Community-Based Participatory Action Research (CPAR) – Seaweed Culture (Kappaphycus sp.) in Panobolon, Guimaras,” which introduced interventions and alternative technologies on seaweed farming (i.e. seagrass and fish patch).

The CPAR project was instrumental in laying the foundations for farmer cooperators to identify and address farmers' needs and challenges— hence, encouraging the involvement and participation of more individuals, as well as out of school youths, in the province. By utilizing salt development, among others, during the summer season, the income of farmers and fisherfolk increased which enabled them to motorize their boats and upgrade their housing— with 87% of their zone having solar panels and generators.

“Nang dumating ang CPAR, binigyan kami ng mga dagdag na teknolohiya para matugunan ‘yung lean season income ng mga seaweed growers sa amin. Ilan dito ay seaweeds farming, paggawa ng asin, paglagay ng fish patch, at ilang intervention sa seagrass para pandagdag income, Dahil dito, nagkaroon na ng mga bangkang de motor ang ilan sa amin at bumaba rin ang out of school youth ng mahigit 40%. Ang dating asosasyon din na Panobolon Seaweeds Grower Association ay ginawang Unified Fisherfolks Association para mas marami ang makalahok,” he said.

CPAR is one of the DA-BAR's banner programs that aims to empower farming and fishing communities through information-based decision-making. Utilizing the community-based approach, CPAR is geared toward verifying the technical and economic feasibility of mature technologies in specific locations and at the farmers’ level prior to widespread adoption.