Women Farmers of Barangay Cag-olango, Balangiga
Women farmers cross this knee-depth length river to reach their farm as majority does. Normally, this do not overflows except during the Typhoon Haiyan last November 2013. The village is located in a low lying area, thus, their geographical condition also poses risk not just to their lives likewise to their farming livelihoods particularly in times of typhoon. Photo: Joan Odena/Oxfam
Harvesting is a common bonding activity among female farmers in the area. This is also their space for social interactions.
“Oxfam provided us variety of seedlings which we have not thought that we can produce it then. These are cacao, peanuts, ginger, among others. We already harvested some products. Others sell it within the village, others bring it to the municipal market for sale while others opted to use it their consumption. This helps us to save money for other daily needs.” – female farmer, 40 years old
“With our more engagement in farming works, our carework roles are sometimes done by our husband or our children. On weekdays, when all our schooling children goes to school, my husband and I go to farm together.” (Photo: Joan Odena/Oxfam)
Female farmers harvested some peanuts. Growth and production is affected by climate change and pests. Farmers used indigenous pesticide to cope with it such as grounded chili and or mix it with powdered soap with water. (Photo: Joan Odena/Oxfam)
Maribeth Abejo Alensuas, 41 years old, a female farmer in Barangay Cag-o-lango in the municipality of Balangiga, Eastern Samar. She is worried with the potential effect of El Nino in their farming livelihood.
“I am a farmer as well as my husband. We have two kids but our youngest child has passed away 5 years ago due to an illness – heap, leaukemia. Farming is our only livelihood. I am happy to receive livelihood support from Oxfam such as fruit-bearing tree seedlings. However, we observed that the soil texture in our area has changed after we were hit by the Typhoon Yolanda. It seems like it becomes harder. It becomes less fertile. And now with our new plants and crops, which are all climate sensitive, are easily affected either of too much dry season or too much rain. And in some instances, it even gets infested of worms. These really worry us with our crops especially when El Nino happens.” (Photo: Joan Odena/Oxfam)
Eufemia Escaro, 55 years old, married, Barangay Cag-o-lango, Balangiga, Eastern Samar.
“I am a farmer and I also make bread for quite long years. After the typhoon Yolanda, I used my extra money to buy ingredients for making bread. And when Oxfam has provided PhP3000 as cash grant during the emergency repsonse, I was so happy to be one of the beneficiaries. I used it as capital to make bread and sell it. It was really a big help. Afterwards, I also became a beneficiary of the fruit-tree seedlings, tools and training. I have planted calamansi which I have harvested already and used for consumption. For the cacao, it will take time before it grow. When such time comes that we will harvest cacao, I will make chocolate out of cacao fruits and I could make breads again using the cacao chocolate as fillings. That would be my options if ever I could not sell the cacao fruits itself. I am happy to do such alternatives to augment our income.”
(Photo: Joan Odena/Oxfam)
“My name is Lilibeth Del Callar, 42 years of age, married and has 5 kids. The eldest is 21 years old who is now in college. I became a farmer since I got married. I am planting a lot like root crops, gabi, peanuts, vegetables, cassava, and cacao. There were 100 cacao trees and 50 calamansi seedlings we have planted here as supported by Oxfam. Some of the cacao died because, maybe, of too much heat. For those which can survive, I am planning to sell it for additional income.” (Photo: Joan Odena/Oxfam)