Power in the Pandemic: food, farming and coronavirus in the Philippines

Throughout the upcoming weeks and months, Power Shifts is partnering with the Oxfam in Depth podcast to share the experiences of people living through the Coronavirus outbreak in our new Power in the Pandemic podcast. We’ll be hearing from people across the world as they tell us how COVID-19 is affecting their lives and how their communities are organizing to tackle the effects of the crisis. 

If you haven’t yet listened to our first episode, do check it out here: Where is the power in the pandemic?. And here you can find some highlights from the episode discussion.

We’ve recently released another episode where we talk to Duoi Ampilan from Mindanao, the second-largest island in the Philippines. Have a listen below or on your favorite podcast platform!

Duoi has been focusing his efforts on changing up food systems to ensure food security at the local level. This is done through the promotion of organic agriculture among small scale farmers. But how has the coronavirus pandemic affected these efforts? In this episode, Duoi takes us out to visit farmers from the Midpulo Unified Agriculture Cooperative to explore how the coronavirus pandemic has affected food security in the Philippines.

You’ll hear from Duoi, Amiruddin Gani, Ramla Gani and Pabi Gani – all members of the Midpulo coop. They share some of the issues they’re facing as coronavirus has hit during the middle of their dry season, making it much more difficult to sell their produce. We’ll also hear about the benefits of organic farming, especially during this critical time.

Their voices help us understand how this COVID-19 crisis intersects with long-standing issues and preexisting conditions, such as the dependence on seasonal farming and changing climate conditions, as well as limited market openings.

“During this pandemic, Coronavirus, life in many parts of the country is so difficult … Among the sectors affected are small farmers. Many of them could not access farming activities, especially in the early days of the quarantine. They could not access markets and they lost opportunities to bring their products to the market.” – Duoi Ampilan

Also…. we’re now on Instagram!

Don’t forget to follow our new Power Shifts Instagram page to get updates on the podcast & see the profiles of our featured speakers.

You can find Power in the Pandemic on your favourite podcast provider. Tune in!

Featured image: Babu Ganap is shown here checking the tomatoes in her garden. Aged 75, she is the oldest member of the Midpulo Unified Agriculture Cooperative. She says that gardening for vegetables has become her way to keep fit. Photo taken and provided by Duoi Ampilan.

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