Electronic Network Cash Tellers, Inc. (ENCASH) together with its Catanduanes-based partner ARDCI NGO Group, Inc., distributed different types of vegetable seedlings to ARDCI's nine Savings and Loans System (SLS) comprising of around 30 farmers per SLS last February 17-19, 2016. The distribution project was called "Gulayanihan Project" Seed Distribution and Community Garden.
Taken from the words "Gulay" or vegetable and "Bayanihan" or community effort, this project has two objectives: to help farmers in Catanduanes to have a sustainable means of food supply; and to enable the farmers to sell their produce in the island and obtain additional income.The distribution of the seedlings took place in different sitios of Catanduanes. These included: Aruyao Grande in Bato, Kilikilihan and Kalayaan in San Miguel, Hawaan Grande and Moonwalk Kalatagan in Virac. Some SLS members in San Andres also received the seedlings.
Each SLS chairperson was given seedlings by ENCASH Marketing Manager Patricia S. Arnedo and ARDCI CSR Head Mike Teves.The project is meant to be a community endeavor. Each SLS would design and plant their community gardens based on the criteria set by ARDCI. Replication by SLS members in their own garden is highly encouraged. This will be done with another round of distribution of seedlings by the first week of March. ARDCI will monitor the project in order to ensure compliance.
Among the seeds distributed were: Ampalaya, Okra, Hot Pepper, Bush Sitao, Squash, Pechay and Eggplant.To ensure that the SLS would know what to do with these seedlings, the Department of Agriculture in Virac also took part in the endeavor by sending their experts to introduce organic farming to the SLS.The SLS members comprising mostly of women were very vocal in their gratitude for the seedlings, sending a chorus of "Mabalos" or "May you be rewarded" to both ENCASH and ARDCI.
ARDCI NGO Group, Inc. is a non-government organization who provides financial assistance and literacy through its Savings, Loans and Insurance programs to its members. ARDCI also provides Corporate Social Responsibility Programs such as medical and dental missions, educational scholarships, ffeeding programs, and community development services. Six of its sites have ENCASH ATMs.
Catanduanes is an island off the coast in Bicol that experiences plenty of typhoons every year. By implementing the Gulayanihan Project, ENCASH and ARDCI hope to provide a leg-up for farmers that have had their share of ruined crops due to typhoons.