Asia’s leading vegetable seed company East-West Seed kicks off its celebration of 30 years of empowering Filipino farmers by hosting a special vegetarian lunch created by “Green Chef” Sau del Rosario, an advocate of supporting local farmers’ produce at One Rockwell last September 20.
East-West Seed is the leader in tropical vegetable varieties with higher yields, better tolerance to disease and pests, longer shelf life, extended growing seasons and better eating quality. These qualities have made vegetable farming a sustainable, high-value enterprise for thousands of Filipino farmers.
Marking its three-decade milestone, East-West Seed announced its nationwide search for 30 farmer-heroes who have achieved success, shown innovativeness in adopting improved technologies, contributed significantly to their community’s development, and improved consumer welfare with the help of East-West Seed varieties.
“We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate our 30th anniversary than to recognize the hard work and extremely valuable – but often underappreciated – contribution of our local ‘farmer-heroes’ to their bigger communities,” said Mary Ann Sayoc, East-West Seed Philippines General Manager. “For the past 30 years, East-West Seed Philippines has collaborated with local vegetable growers, and we have always been inspired by their ingenuity and innovativeness. Farmers face a different challenge now: they must feed more people with the same amount of land. We realize the critical role that farmers play in food security and nutrition, and we do our part by producing vegetable seed varieties that thrive in varying conditions and challenges.”
East-West Seed’s search for 30 farmer-heroes will span 15 regions nationwide with 30 nominees per region. The nominees will be evaluated on their unique success story as a vegetable farmer; their positive influence in their farming communities such as promoting the growth of vegetable farming, creating jobs and uplifting the livelihood of others; and their exemplary adaptation of improved technologies for vegetable production.
"A good seed can change the lives of millions," added Sayoc. “We believe that a good seed is the starting point of a long chain of value creation: by using high quality, high performing seeds, farmers harvest better yields and earn more from their land and labor. This also means tastier, more attractive and nutritious vegetables for consumers and households.”
Alongside agricultural sustainability and farmer productivity, the company also promotes nutrition through greater vegetable consumption. East-West Seed gives training and provides hybrid seeds to public elementary schools and typhoon-affected areas for the establishment of school vegetable gardens. These school gardens are managed by the school children, teachers and parents.
“We advocate healthy eating in schools because this means better learning and greater productivity in the community. Every Filipino can support this advocacy too,” said Sayoc. “Lastly, choose locally-grown vegetables. That’s the best way we can show appreciation and tip our hat to Filipino farmers."