Private sector, inmates and indigenous farmers go for agroforestry in Philippines

Prison inmates and indigenous farmers in the Philippines are coming together for a unique agroforestry project.

Manila Standard Today reports on a project by Intex Resources Philippines Inc. which aims to meet the government’s expectations for private sector participation in the national greening program.

The company’s Livelihood Enhancement through Agroforestry (LEAF) project involves the training of 40 minimum-security inmates in the growing of rubber, coffee and banana on a 17-hectare demonstration farm and nursery in Occidental Mindoro. Because it will take a few years for the banana and coffee to produce fruit, early value crops such as sweet potato, cassava and pineapple are planted amongst the trees.

“LEAF is designed to encourage local farmers to better utilize their land and establish sustainable income,” says the article. It has already generated interest among local farmers and other Mangyan indigenous communities.

As well as providing training and some income to prison inmates, the company is hopeful the trees will also give protection from flooding and erosion in the area.

Read the full story: Intex’s project helps inmates