Our Community of Practice
Together we grow collective power.
What Grounds Us
Creating a community of practice, there are no fixed components or required steps or one standard approach as the needs, perspectives, and experience of communities are different.
Here we summarize our own reflections on the values that ground us and shape our practices.
Our goal is to share what we have learned and what worked for us to help replicate and scale out (horizontal, self-reliant, interdependent with others) agrobiodiverse gardens in urban poor communities.
Eventually, we also want to create a common platform for connecting citizens and unlocking our collective power to transform how we grow and consume food in a way that:
a) supports the people’s right to safe, nutritious, and affordable food, and
b) connects it to the broader struggle for the economic and housing rights of the urban poor.
Pamayanihan sa Payatas
“Pamayanihan” is the model of community-supported agriculture, adapted to the Philippine conditions of farmers and consumers. Farmers and consumers are connected under the model of pamayanihan and transforms consumers into a co-producers with a stake and a share in shaping the food system to one that is ecological, safe, and fair. Under it, farmers and consumers share the rewards, risks, and responsibilities of food production.
Pamayanihan sa Payatas adapt the four pillars to the realities of the urban poor.
What we believe in
The urban poor are the protagonists. They can achieve their community food security when their power, agency, and rights are recognized and restored.
We work with partners and civil society who understand and believe in the need to dismantle the systemic problem that hinders the urban poor from accessing good, clean, and fair food. Beyond the sharing of resources and creation of common assets to sustain their food gardens, this is also about amplifying the call for the protection of their basic rights, especially their right to safe, healthy, affordable food.
The urban growers actively shaped their urban farming program and voiced out their needs which set the direction of the project from the ground up.
Just like the vegetables they grew, their resourcefulness and creativity in solving problems (such as pest control) grew and adapted to what is available in their environments. Mutual aid became possible as they shared portions of their harvests with neighbors given the prevalent hunger in their communities and the high price of vegetables.
Clustering the urban farmers in support groups of five and appointing respective leaders/coordinators allowed the growers to be organized and to guide each other. Cluster leaders acted as the bridge between fellow growers and other organizations within the coalition. At present, some of these graduates have volunteered to become farmer-trainers for replicating agrobiodiverse food garden projects in other urban poor communities.
PLM also created a system to ensure that their organizational chapters have access to the weekly donation of organic vegetables from smallholder farmers, broadening the reach of the kusinang bayan.