Barangay officials of Saniag and ICRC staff check a farm equipment called a shredder, which was donated by ICRC. (Photo by © B. Sultan/ICRC)

COTABATO CITY (September 19, 2023) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) formally donated a vermicompost facility to Saniag Elementary School to 96 displaced farmers and other community members from Ampatuan, Maguindanao del Sur. The hand-over ceremony was attended by ICRC staff, barangay officials and school officials on September 12, 2023.

ICRC said that farmers will be able to produce their own organic fertilizers, called vermicompost, using the vermicomposting facility. This organic fertilizer is expected to improve soil fertility and help them increase their crop yields.

Prior to the turnover of the facility, the farmers and other villagers were trained in vermicomposting by a specialist from the College of Agriculture of Southern Christian College. They learned how to prepare vermi beds and feed worms with materials found in their surroundings, so that they could eventually build their own vermicompost facilities within their own backyards.

The farmers also underwent training under experts from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration to better understand climate change. The farmers learned about how they could adjust their planting activities while keeping in mind the changing weather patterns.

The ICRC helped the farmers to build the vermicomposting facility. Vermicomposting is a process by which worms are used to convert biodegradable raw material into a humus-like material known as vermicompost. This compost is an organic fertilizer.

The ICRC is a neutral, impartial and independent organization with an exclusively humanitarian mandate. It helps people around the world who have been affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence. It aims to protect their lives and dignity and relieve their suffering, often working alongside its Red Cross and Red Crescent partners. (Tu Alid Alfonso/BMN/BangsamoroToday, Photo by Baipulo Sultan/ICRC)

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