In the Philippines, all 06 Fairtrade small-scale sugar producers are organic farming practitioners certified by the international organic certifying body. To further enhance their practices, to provide recommendations for improving yield/productivity, and to identify suitable crops for diversification and value chain initiatives at the producer level, several workshops, production analyses, and learning exchange programs have been organized by Fairtrade NAPP among the sugarcane producers.
Through the training the producer organisation aims to boost each of their farmers to strive for an environmentally-friendly mode of farming. A handbook on organic sugarcane farm plans and budgets based on noble work of the six sugarcane production organizations as the final output of the seminar workshop.
An increase of five percent (5%) in tonnage and seven percent (7%) in sugar production (LKg) was obtain when organic humus was added on top with the recommended rate of fertilizers. This resulted from a farm demo conducted by Oñal (2006) in Bago City, Negros Occidental. Non-drying of cane leaves during long dry spells and plant vigor was noted for the treated one. The demo aimed to reduce the cost of production and use of environmentally friendly materials and at the same time can increase the farm productivity.
Some of the learning’s noted through the workshops are:
- The majority of the organization members are mostly 51 years old and above with elementary-level education.
- As per the profile of the farm, the soil is light in texture, all are acidic, and almost one-half of the area received 3 to 4 months of rainfall. Most of the area is near the water source, and the majority has 6 to 25 degrees of slope.
- On the variety and productivity, the majority of the area was planted with 1981-1990 bred, ratoon class, a slight decrease of area planted, tonnage was high, sugar rendement was low, and sugar productivity was high. The average expenses per hectare were high, the average gross income was Php 157,800 per hectare, the average net income was high, and the average cost per bag was Php 1,159.
- The total area of the existing facilities was 674 square meters, the number of machinery and draft animals was 24, and the existing farm implements were 17
- Areas of concern in terms of membership, education and skills include
- Aging membership
- Low educational attainment
- Acidic soil
- Old sugarcane varieties
- Decreasing in areas planted to sugarcane
- Varieties planted have low LKg/TC
- Huge expenses per hectare are
- High cost of production per bag of sugar
- Limited machinery and lesser number of farm implements
- 6.Best practices
- Good leadership because the majority of the group exists already from 11-20 years
- Ratooning technology is well adapted.
- Tonnage is high.
- Sugar production is good.
- Financial in terms of income is good
- Adequate facilities