Various developments have preceded the setting up of the Institute. Natural Farming was introduced to the Philippines by the Korean Dr. Cho under his Janong Natural Farming Institute of Korea. A series of repeated trainings and various seminars given out to Filipinos and other interested audiences all over the Philippines had resulted to a healthy growth of the population of farmers and would-be farmers willing to practice Natural Farming in their farms.
The need for integrating and organizing these NF farmers and continuing the learnings and trainings to further the growth have resulted in the setting up of various NF organizations all over the country. However, the various organizations, without having a central INSTITUTE to work on standardizing all the aspects of NF, have reached a point that growth is simply growing in numbers without the benefit of a centered organization taking care of the educational aspects, standardization of manuals and credentials, government recognition, and marketing acceptance through branding and exclusive brands to uplift farming and agricultural production and its volumes and quality.
Recognizing these, the NFIP has become more organized to champion the branding and make the standardization of Natural Farming be a recognized way of farming, lifting the levels of production to through organic and natural ways, against that of chemical and conventional western farming.
The need to standarize natural farming protocols and processes
Various practices in Natural Farming have been taught, trained, and used to improve farming in the country. However, mainstreaming is far from reality because there is no institutional support and central authority to control, develop, and monitor standards of operations, farming management, production and planting, harvesting, storage, and sales and marketing.
The main goal is to mainstream Natural Farming all over. It will require branding and the maintenance of the integrity of such brandings, development and maintenance of standards and trainings, research and development, government acceptance and accreditation, creation of training manuals and learning institutions all over the country with the accompanying certifications and accreditations, trade networking, organizational networking, product development and marketing, protocol development, manualization of the processes, book and magazine subscriptions, international networking with various countries’ NF organizations, and creation of the INSTITUTE concept from provincial to regional and national levels. It will espouse international cooperation and exchange of good practices and learnings, development continuation, and even the honoring of those whose achievements are lifting the levels and qualities of agriculture towards higher food security, sovereignty, and independence.
The INSTITUTE refers not just to a central body that controls and develops research and developments, trainings and protocols, government accreditations, and other developmental contributions, it also refers to the setting up of local groupings that builds like-minded communities and practicing NF farmers for the purpose of helping and assisting each other. A series of various community groupings creates an INSTITUTE at the local levels, who look up and seek central support from a national INSTITUTE that anchors all learnings, networking, trainings, and research and development. As such the INSTITUTE is about COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, FARMERS HELPING FARMERS, AND COMMUNITY ASSISTED AGRICULTURE.
The development and continuing growth of Natural Farming therefore is based on and dependent on the growth of various communities supporting each other and NF organizations nationwide supporting one another. Along with that is creating optimum volumes for production, sales and marketing, and manufacturing in an optimal manner that builds each community as they cooperate as one.
The INSTITUTE is registered with the government SEC as a non-stock and non-profit organization, a none-government organization. It seeks to be continually accredited with TESDA so it can issue certificates of training and development, maintenance and regulation of the STANDARDS of Natural Farming, and BRANDINGS that will cater to all NF communities in a sustaining manner to foster the growth of Natural Farming nationwide.
Functioning institute and its systems
Natural Farming is a farming system that follows the laws, ways, and directions of nature to produce crops and produce. The INSTITUTE creates systems and protocols that binds communities to assist and support each other. The farmers are part of nature, the same way that plants and animals are. The water and soil systems along with the air and environment throughout the planting and growing areas are part of the system. Each of the factors of production and planting and animal growing is integrated towards each other, supporting one another and allowing growth without using destructive practices. Chemicals introduced from synthetic sources coming from outside is not acceptable. Nature produces its own chemicals and optimally utilizes it as needed. The INSTITUTE recognizes the integrative relationship of each factor of production and farming, and positions itself as the champion for standards supporting such relationship.
The Institute has the following directions:
- PROTOCOLS, PROCESSES AND SYSTEMS
We seek to develop all of this through the recognition of various experiences and learnings from the farmers. e.g. what works in the farm and how to improve them.
- TRAININGS AND SEMINARS
We seek to develop trainors and provide their trainings, standardize manuals of trainings, have seminars and teaching talks, provide presentation materials, laboratory reports, and supporting references, and other related issues. Seminars will be given according to their accepted experiences and learnings by accredited speakers and trainors.
Standards are meant to bring the processes and protocols as much as possible to the highest level. With that, certifications and acknowledgements are given and compliance certifications are provided to keep the standards throughout the farm.
The INSTITUTE is the sole standard vanguard, and that it shall keep and protect. Authority on those standards shall be from the INSTITUTE only.
- TRADE NETWORKING
Members are supported through Trade Networking. This is a service given to members to arrange the production, manufacturing, and sales and distribution of the members’ outputs. It is meant to support the consumers’ needs for NF products, production, and planting continuity to sustain the farmers’ productions by available markets for their produce. Prices and volumes are meant to be managed through this service.
- NF ORG NETWORKING
Various NF and Organic practitioners all over the country will have support services linking them with each other for support and assistance. This service is to optimize opportunities and create possibilities for a greater growth of market and production capacities.
- COMMUNICATIONS PROGRAMS
The INSTITUTE will publish its own magazines, websites, and various social communication platforms to reach out to as many people as possible, especially to its members all over the country. The power of communications is acknowledged to be a necessary and effective mechanism for growth and development, research and marketing, sales and distribution, and logistics and handling. Farmers must have a national communications arm to support them in their quest for a better life, a better farm, and a better country.
- CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY(CSR)
Farmers are cognizant of their roles in nation building. They are part of society and its strengths and weaknesses. Social needs are addressed through the farmers’ actions, donations, social works, assistance of the poor and deserving victims of calamities, sponsorships of educational programs and students’ scholarships, and other attendant social needs. Cooperation with other organizations and even with the government is expected.
- TRADE TOOLS, EQUIPMENTS, SEEDS, PLANTLETS, AND OTHER NECESSARY FARM RESOURCES.
Farmers need equipment and other farm resources at optimal costs and easier accessibility for better farm production. The INSTITUTE will connect with those who can provide them the best prices, quality, volume, and reach to bring these to the farmers nationwide when needed. Seeds are developed, stored, and distributed whenever and wherever they are needed. Storage facilities are created within the farmers’ areas for quick and cheaper dispending. Seed banks are nurtured. Nurseries are created all over for seed and plantlet availability. Concoctions are readied and fermented. Compost, vermin fertilizers, and other biological remediation materials are stored and enhanced for farmers’ distribution under optimal situations.
- RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
The INSTITUTE will be at the forefront of Research and Development for farmers. New protocols will continue to be improved. Statistics will be managed. Developmental programs will be sustained and continued. Scientists and the academe will become a part and a parcel of its R and D department.
- FINANCIAL SUPPORT
The INSTITUTE will always endeavor to find capitals and support farmers with available loans, grants, trade discounts, fund bridging, and other ways to assist farmers in their production schemes. Capital Formation for farmers is a necessary goal for sustainable farming nationwide.
Building the institute
Institutional building requires the presence of the following:
- NATIONAL CORE GROUP
A national core group is housed in the NATURAL FARMING INSTITUTE OF THE PHILIPPINES Board of Directors. Members are voted from the general membership through accepted Articles of Incorporation and Rules attendant thereof.
- REGIONAL AND PROVINCIAL CORES
Provincial cities and regional areas are developed core groups to govern the various farm institutes all over.
- FARMERS’ INSTITUTE
These are the local groups within farming areas that support each other through specialization of tasks: farming protocols, fermentation concoctions, composting, vermi-cultures, horticulture, stores and distribution networks, resource build-up and availability, and other inputs and skills exchange. These are the backbone of the INSTITUTE forming the feet of the organization. They provide the legwork of the organization.
- INTEGRATIVE ACTIONS
All members and groups within the organization support each other. Magazines and communications are provided for all to create bonds. Markets are exchanged and supported by all. Prices are collaboratively managed. What, where, and when to plant are issues asked and managed to bring about better pricing. Volumes are managed. The whole institution reacts to each member’s needs, and supports them through its available assets and linkages.
- EDUCATION and TRAININGS
Trainings and education form the backbones of the INSTITUTE. These provide the ways for increasing membership, for no one becomes a member without successfully attending seminars and trainings. This is also for the improvement of the members’ qualities allowing the INSTITUTE to become a stronger arm of development for each member.