ERNESTO CATACUTÁN (1962-2022)
Place of birth: Boac, Philippines
Elementary Education in Rural School in the Philippines.
Subsistence farmer, 1970-2019.
Worker in rice and coconut plantations, 1975-2015.
Community leader in the farmers' association of his village.
Ernesto became an advocate for agricultural sustainability in the Philippines. He introduced organic farming techniques in his community, reducing reliance on pesticides and herbicides.
Ernesto led the fight for local farmers' rights. He helped organize peaceful protests to demand fair working conditions and fair prices for their produce.
In 2008, Ernesto founded a farmer education program in his hometown. The program offered literacy classes, training in modern farming techniques and access to agricultural resources.
Three situations he faced and solutions:
In 1985, he faced a severe drought that threatened his crops. Ernesto collaborated with other farmers to dig wells and build irrigation systems that would allow access to water even in times of drought.
Working on rice and coconut plantations, he faced labor exploitation and low wages. He organized peaceful strikes and negotiations with employers to improve working conditions and wages for agricultural workers.
In launching the farmer education program, Ernesto faced a lack of resources and government support. He sought local and international donations as well as the collaboration of volunteers to overcome these obstacles and move the program forward.
Main phrases, teachings and thoughts:
"The land gives us life, and we must give it life in return by caring for it and working it sustainably for future generations".
"All farmers deserve the opportunity to thrive".
Knowledge management for new generations
1. Agricultural sustainability
2. Defend labor rights
3. Education and community empowerment
Following Ernesto Catacután's example, new generations can adopt sustainable agricultural practices, reducing dependence on pesticides and herbicides and caring for the land for future generations. This involves learning and applying organic and environmentally friendly farming techniques.
Ernesto fought for farmworkers' rights and organized peaceful protests to demand fair working conditions. New generations can commit to defending labor rights in agriculture, promoting fair wages and safe working conditions for farmers and rural workers.
Ernesto founded an educational program for farmers in his community. New generations can follow his example by establishing education and training programs to empower rural communities. This includes providing access to education, agricultural resources and development opportunities to improve the quality of life in rural areas.