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January 20, 2022

Tzu Chi volunteers, indigenous Davao farmers plant 2,500 banana seedlings

It's part of Tzu Chi's poverty alleviation program for Davao's indigenous communities.

 

By Joy Rojas

 

 

Following the instructions of Dharma Master Cheng Yen, Tzu Chi volunteers in Davao recently began a banana tree-planting initiative with farmers in Talaingod, a municipality some 130 kilometers away from downtown Davao. The initiative is part of Tzu Chi’s poverty alleviation program for the indigenous tribes of Davao del Norte.

 

Bearing 2,500 banana seedlings, Tzu Chi Davao volunteers led by Nelson Chua traveled more than three hours through mountainous roads to reach their destination. Once there, farmers’ families helped plant the seedlings in a 52-hectare spread of land that can accommodate over 52,000 banana trees. Locals estimate their efforts to yield fruit by next year. They also predict sweet bananas, given the rich soil and organic fertilizers used.

 

In the weeks to come, volunteers will continue to provide farmers with seeds and fertilizer and assist with the weeding. With this regular interaction, it is the volunteers’ hope that they plant not just the seeds to a bountiful harvest but the seeds to a promising future ahead for these farmers, with the cooperation of Tzu Chi volunteers.  

 

Since 2020, Tzu Chi Davao has been extending assistance to various indigenous groups in the area. In the past two years, more than 3,000 families have received Tzu Chi rice and other basic necessities. As a long-term and sustainable solution to overcoming poverty, volunteers coordinated with local government officers to create a poverty alleviation plan. This teaches poor households to be self-sufficient enough to give their families a better life.

 

The plan received the support and blessings of the Venerable Master.

Tzu Chi volunteers (standing, back row) and pose with members of the indigenous community during a banana tree-planting program in Talaingod, a municipality some 130 kilometers away from downtown Davao. Tzu Chi volunteers (standing, back row) and pose with members of the indigenous community during a banana tree-planting program in Talaingod, a municipality some 130 kilometers away from downtown Davao.
With shovel in hand, Tzu Chi Davao volunteers led by Nelson Chua trek through rocky terrain to get to the site where they will help plant banana seedlings. With shovel in hand, Tzu Chi Davao volunteers led by Nelson Chua trek through rocky terrain to get to the site where they will help plant banana seedlings.
Volunteers begin digging in the 52-hectare site that can accommodate over 50,000 banana trees. Volunteers begin digging in the 52-hectare site that can accommodate over 50,000 banana trees.
A volunteer plants a banana seedling in the ground. Farmers say it will take a year to grow and bear fruit. A volunteer plants a banana seedling in the ground. Farmers say it will take a year to grow and bear fruit.
Volunteers place soil over a banana seedling. Volunteers place soil over a banana seedling.
Volunteer Nelson Chua led the team of Tzu Chi Davao volunteers in this initiative to alleviate poverty. Volunteer Nelson Chua led the team of Tzu Chi Davao volunteers in this initiative to alleviate poverty.
2,500 banana seedlings were given to indigenous farmers as part of Tzu Chi's efforts to ease families out of poverty. 2,500 banana seedlings were given to indigenous farmers as part of Tzu Chi's efforts to ease families out of poverty.
A Tzu Chi volunteer helps a farmer plant a banana seedling into the ground. The hope is that this seedling provides not just fruit but a sustainable livelihood for poor farmers. A Tzu Chi volunteer helps a farmer plant a banana seedling into the ground. The hope is that this seedling provides not just fruit but a sustainable livelihood for poor farmers.
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Tzu Chi Philippines

Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, Philippines - Jing Si Hall

1000 Cordillera cor. Lubiran St., Bacood, Sta. Mesa., Manila 1016

(632) 8714 - 1188

info@tzuchi.org.ph

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