At the beginning of February 2019, the RightSeeds research team travelled to the Philippine island of Luzon, more precisely in Rajal Centro, Santa Rosa, Nueva Ecija, accompanied by German practice partners. Together with the Philippine network MASIPAG (Farmer-Scientist Partnership for Development) they conducted a six-day workshop and discussed about common goals, visions and wishes for the future, the different economic and legal framework conditions as well as the daily practical work of the breeders. The exchange with MASIPAG coordinators, breeders and farmers provided the German partners with valuable insights into an organization in which diversity of plant varieties and food sovereignty are central values. For decades, MASIPAG has stood for a successful cooperation between breeding, crop cultivation, science and NGOs.
MASIPAG has been living the common property principles investigated in the project for decades and has thus been able to share valuable experience. In turn, the German practice partners provided the Philippine partners with important insights into breeding work in Germany. The workshop week was divided into different focus topics. After a kick-off day including a visit to the MASIPAG backup farm, the next day was dedicated to vegetables and onions (blog post about the vegetables and onions day). The workshop day on rice included a visit to the Philippine Rice Research Institute and for the “policy day” talks in the Ministry and in the Office Provincial Agriculturalist were scheduled (blog post on the rice and policy day). Another day was dedicated to conceptual work on commons and a reflection of the workshop week as well as general feedback on the south-north exchange.
Currently the results of the Philippine trip are evaluated by RightSeeds and in parallel the planning of a visit of the MASIPAG delegation in 2020 is progressing.