Raquion Ababa, 58 years old, is an upland farmer in Polangui, Albay who took a gamble by planting rice despite of the onslaught of El Niño during the first quarter of the year. When Mr. Ababa learned that there is enough water stored in the Small Farm Reservoir (SFR) established by the Bicol Agri-Water Project (BAWP) to irrigate his land, he decided to till his half hectare parcel of rice farm. Despite other farmers’ discouragement, Mr. Ababa carefully established rice seedbeds. He patiently cared for and transplanted his seedlings and irrigated his farm using the stored water from the nearby SFR.
With his strong determination and using knowledge gained from attending the Climate Field School (CFS) also implemented by BAWP, he harvested seven sacks of rice–enough to feed his family in the subsequent months. Now, other farmers admire him for taking the risk, making use of farming technologies, and applying what he learned amid unfavorable seasons.
Mr. Ababa’s story on how the SFR has helped him overcome the drought was also featured by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on their website: https://www. usaid.gov/results-data/success-stories/filipino-farmers-triumph-over-drought - Sarrah D. Sambajon