For years, Mar and his family lived on the little money he made providing cart-peddling transportation to the residents of Sapang Bato, Philippines. For the last two years, Mar’s wife had to work outside of the country in order for their 10-year-old son to be able to attend school.
It was an unfavorable situation, to say the least. Mar desperately missed his wife, longing for her return home.
When an Outreach field staff member suggested the possibility of diversifying resident’s sources of income, Mar was ready to take action.
Because farming is the most common work in Sapang Bato, he decided to invest in an organic fertilizer project.
Using waste from the local water buffalo, and worms he purchased himself, he set up a large space and began composting.
His first production filled 35 large sacks. And not only did he sell every last bag, his demand doubled for the next batch. He is able to produce this nutrient-rich fertilizer for less than the price of the commercial fertilizers his neighbors purchase.
Soon, a neighboring village got word of Mar’s fertilizer production and wanted to buy. The demand rose to 7,000 sacks.
Now, other men and women in Sapang Bato are learning to harvest organic fertilizer as well, increasing their own families’ incomes.
“One of the lessons I’ve learned is that there are benefits in simple things,” Mar said. “Water buffalo wastes go unnoticed, but if you gather it and transform it into fertilizer, income can be earned; and it makes for cleaner surroundings and healthier farms.”