A rare combination of ASA student volunteers and a Senior Expert teamed up to help the OURFood farmers in Dalaguete, Cebu with their irrigation problem. Dr. Heinz Sourell of Germany’s Senior Experten Service (SES) and three young water experts from the ASA Basis Programme : Berit Vosskaemper (Environmental Engineer), Jan Hennigs (Environmental Engineer) and Ruben Vagt (Environmental Hydrologist) were deployed to assist OURFood Farmers in Dalaguete, Province of Cebu.
The synergy definitely created by the team up with ASA Volunteers has helped the DAVEGA farmers understand their situation when it comes to water. One of the challenges that Dr. Sourell wanted for the farmers to discover is if the ground water they have in Dalaguete, a true ground water or simply percolated water from the rainfall. It has various implications in the sustainability of the production system of vegetables. The limitations in water supply will definitely affect their planned expansion via the Unilever purchase of processed bell pepper. Despite the challenge, farmers continue to grow vegetables and learned to optimize water use by the recommendations suggested by both the SES and ASA volunteers.
The 3 ASA volunteers also spent the remaining weeks of their deployment in the Municipalities of Ayungon and La Libertad in Negros Oriental to similarly help the OURFood farmers in these areas. Their 3-month stay (August 1 to October 30, 2016) in the Philippines passed through like a breeze with the many recommendations for addressing water sanitation, conservation of water sources, protecting water sources, treatment and sanitation of waste water, quantification and determination of capacity of water sources and addressing expansion in crop production with limited water capacity.
The farmers and the Agri-team will surely miss their presence in the farms.