What is the TRoach Philippine Project about?
In the simplest terms, The Philippine Project is about helping people to help themselves.
A while back I had a chance to visit the Philippines (island of Mindanao) much of which is rural farmland as well as having many very low-income areas.
While I was there I talked to several of the landowners about how farming was done there as well as talked about differences of how we operate farms in the States.
The main difference most of the land owners I talked to said that it was not practical for each farm / family to own all the equipment needed as much of the equipment would only be used 1-2 days every 3 months or so. Not to mention most simply are not able to afford the items to begin with. Thus they do most of the work by hand. Which is not very efficient especially when trying to get fields ready for planting (plowing or disking the fields)
Most I talked to agreed that a centralized negotiation body for buying and selling items (equipment, crops, etc.) would be a good idea. However, they continued, others that have come to the area claiming to represent such operations were not honest and often charged more and paid less than if the farmers had operated on their own. Thus the people of the area are very untrusting of outsiders (and rightly so). As even some groups that claim to be there to give aid and assistance to the area, are often there simply to make money for themselves and no aid or assistance ever reaches the people.
A logical question with all the mistrust and corruption in the area what makes me think that I can succeed where others have failed?
First, I have continued conversations with several of the people from the area and as a group have decided how best to implement the project. Thus everyone knows everyone involved and all have a vested interest in making the project work for everyone.
Second, though most of my work experiences has been in the high tech computer field I was raised on a farm (several hundred acres in size) and have a great deal of practical experience.
Third, some of the land owners have agreed to allow me to use and/or sell me some land so that we can train / demonstrate different methods to area residents of how to best increase crop production as a result, I will not be asking them to do anything that I am not doing myself with the cash crops. Especially in the areas of better controlling soil erosion and increasing crop production.
Fourth, while not part of the farm project many of the local schools had no computer courses or even near by Internet access. Being the ‘tech person’ that I am, I plan (would like to set up) reasonable priced computer labs (internet cafes) next to the schools allowing the schools to teach various programming courses during the day and letting the labs be internet cafes after school hours. As most people in the area do not own computers nor is there immediate internet access. This would of course allow the opportunity for more research, better education, and sharing of ideas.
Fifth, by bringing better internet access into the area. This allows for the potential to set up more technical business opportunities as well as being better able to negotiate the prices for purchase and sale of all items imported into and exported from the area.
Other possibilities outside the above
TRoach Philippine Project
If your company is doing or planning on working with companies located in one of the countries in South East Asia, having fairly easy access to most locations I will be glad to work as a liaison between your company and the 'local' Southeast Asian Manufactures giving your company an honest unbiased opinion about the progress and quality of your project(s).
Of course, at this time we are just starting to get everything operational, and I am still looking at various options for the different possibilities that will help everyone. I look forward to hearing your ideas especially if there is something that I might be able to do to help your business. Alas, simply put, in order for our countries to remain strong we have to be able to find ways to bring in quality supplies at good prices, so that we can keep everyone working.