CSOs discuss social enterprise educ & dev’t for Bangsamoro farmers

14203329_1107509032618394_4142241467383910418_nCivil society gather to strengthen their “participation in social enterprise education and development in Bangsamoro area on August 30, 2016 at Cotabato City.

Three leaders from Ecoweb Inc. are resource persons of this initiative.

Sultan Hamidullah Atar, head of Reconciliatory Initiatives for Development Opportunities (RIDO), and Carino V. Antequisa, fiber enterprise development officer and secretary general of EcoSustain Solutions Inc. (EcoSSOL), shared to participants about how abaca social enterprise help disaster-effected indigenous peoples embrace sustainable agriculture as practical measures to improve their resiliency after experiencing disasters in recent years.

Ecoweb Inc., which has adapted “social enterprise” as a strategy for institutional sustainability since 2015, viewed that it contributes to poverty reduction while considering four bottom lines: profit, people, plant and peace.

Antequisa lectured on the practical sides of nurturing abaca plantation, including the processes of classifying the products, tip-cutting, and the bundling of fibers.

14264016_1107509179285046_8259583865277799121_nAntequisa shared that this project– dubbed as ABACA PPA, is getting wider support from institutions supporting social enterprise and agricultural development.

Abaca PPa project, for instance, is currently supported by the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) and from Canada Fund and the Global Mission Fellow (GMF) for nursery development in 22 upland areas of Iligan city.

The conference was initiated and supported by the British Council/European Union,  PhilSEN, Balay Mindanao, and Foundation for Sustainable Society Inc. (FSSI).

In its press statement, the British Council Philippines and EU explicated that this initiative targets to “strengthen civil society’s participation in social enterprise education and development (CSO-SEED) to provide decent work, to support job creation and SME development in ARMM.”

Ecoweb also collaborated and partnered with the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) in mobilizing relevant government agencies in the introduction and development of abaca industry within target areas in Regions 8, 9 and 10 .

The abaca plantation, which is considered resilient in conflict area, is planned to be expanded in Lanao del Sur to benefit marginalized farmers and former combatants who are striving to normalize their lives in the mainstream.