By Mayor Nacianceno M. Pacalioga, Jr.
Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur, Region IX, Mindanao
The Municipality of Dumingag is considered 2nd class municipality with 44 barangays composed of 33 uplands and 11 lowland barangays. It is a landlocked municipality and the people mainly rely on agriculture. About 90% of population are poor based on the NSCB standards. Around 84% of the farmers have no sufficient production and income to at least support the basic needs of their family.
One of the challenges facing the Local Government of Dumingag is to liberate its constituents from poverty, sickness and hunger, and to bring the municipality on the higher level of development for brighter future of the people.
Mayor Jun together with his team developed the Genuine People’s Agenda (GPA) which aims to establish local economy through People Empowerment and Sustainable Organic Agriculture focused on food sufficiency. It envisions to make “Dumingag an Organic Capital of the Philippines.” It hopes to provide farmers learning skills on simple, culturally acceptable, economically viable, appropriate and environment-friendly farming system to produce safe and nutritious food. In the GPA program, Dumingag forged partnership with various key stakeholders.
The number of organic farmer practitioners had reached a total of 438 farmer families and the trend is growing, hence organic rice production also increased. Hunlos or labor-sharing scheme among the farmers is back and now being practiced. The LGU gives emphasis in transforming Dumingag from conventional farming into organic farming. It has a continuing program on generating and storing their own seed varieties to reduce dependency from external sources. Bringing back the environmental balance in their municipality is one of their long-term objectives.
Through continuing sustainable agriculture programs of the LGU, Dumingag was accepted as a member of International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM).