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Pamfilo’s story

My name is Pamfilo and I’m a rice farmer living in the Philippines.

Along with other farmers, it’s been really hard for me to make a living. For a start, our government buys cheaper rice from other countries, which makes it difficult for us farmers to get a fair price for our rice. The government also want us to buy our rice seeds from big companies and use chemical fertilisers on our crops. These are both so expensive that we have to take out loans for them which cost a lot to pay back. To make matters worse, sometimes the local traders cheat us by weighing our crops wrongly. And rich landowners can just take our land and crops, and little is done to stop them.

But despite all this, things are getting a lot better thanks to a local organisation – and a quarter of a kilo of wriggly worms! Christian Aid, a charity in the UK and Ireland, works with an organisation called RDI Leyte who provided me Pamfilo’s story with the worms, and a helping hand.

How do the worms help?

Firstly, they eat vegetable and fruit left-overs. Then after they’ve digested the leftovers, they leave behind what’s called a worm cast – an excellent natural fertiliser. The worm casts help my crops to grow bigger and stronger, and now I even have some crops left over. I can sell the surplus from my vegetable patch and I make enough money to send my children to school.

RDI Leyte aren’t just about worms, though. They encourage us to use our knowledge of local organic seeds which give much better harvests and are cheaper.

I am now a community organiser for my village and I’m encouraging everyone to start vegetable production with the RDI programme. That initial quarter of a kilo of worms has multiplied and produced 547kg of compost so far. Who would have guessed that something as small as a worm could make you wealthier and healthier?


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