A TEA-rrific partnership: German Embassy supports GreenEarth Heritage Foundation!

A TEA-rrific partnership: German Embassy supports GreenEarth Heritage Foundation!

The German Embassy in Manila granted Php480,000 to GreenEarth Heritage Foundation, Inc. (GEHFI) on July 10 2012 under its small-scale projects scheme.

The funds will be used for the establishment of a drip irrigation system for 10,000 moringa trees (locally known as ‘malunggay’) in their pilot plantation in San Miguel, Bulacan.

The grant also includes the construction of a farm house with a water tank. While the farm house will serve as GreenEarth’s first tea leaves sorting and drying depot, the water tank will be used to collect rainwater.

The dried malunggay leaves are packaged and sold as tea. Every peso garnered from the sales of these tea leaves supports the income of the farmer beneficiaries. It is envisioned that as tea production massively increases, agricultural revenues will also support the programs of GreenEarth over and above the daily income of the farmers. GreenEarth runs a Learning Center on-site with 100 children and growing on its Child Sponsorship Program. They have a feeding program and children vying for college scholarships which GreenEarth hopes can be supported by its revenues resulting from the sales of its certified-organic moringa tea.

During the dry season, the rains are sometimes insufficient to provide adequate water supply to the plantation. To avoid potential losses in the moringa harvest, a drip irrigation system will be set up to stabilize the water supply and optimize water usage. The rain water tank will also make it possible to supply the irrigation system with the collected water making the plantation less dependent on the valuable and limited ground water in the area.

By helping develop GreenEarth’s agricultural infrastructure, the Embassy wants to help boost the moringa tea production while at the same time promoting the practical, low-cost method of rainwater harvesting. Higher tea production will lead to a significant rise in income for the farmer beneficiaries.

GreenEarth is a non-government organization operating a farm while promoting sustainable agricultural development. It has achieved international distinction as one of only two US Department of Agriculture certified-organic moringa plantations in the Philippines.

Moringa is widely recognized as an amazing medicinal tree, superior to over 120 food species tested by the World Vegetable Center for its medicinal and nutritive benefits.

Mr. James Patrick Matti, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of GreenEarth Heritage Foundation, along with its treasurer, Ms. Kathryn Anne Ore, visited the Embassy for the contract signing of the project. German Chargé d’Affaires Ralph Timmermann released the grant to Mr. Matti who expressed his gratitude on behalf of their farmer beneficiaries for their heartwarming partnership in bringing hope in the lives of indigent farming families who have decided to hinge their future on GreenEarth’s mission and programs.

“I am hinging my hopes of a better life through the programs here at GreenEarth. All my life I could not buy land and build a decent home. At GreenEarth, land is free and we are being helped by kind people in so many ways such as greenhouses, drip irrigation, tanks, water pumps, the list is long. Our children can go to school and fulfill their dreams,” declares a jubilant GreenEarth farmer after hearing the news.

Small-scale projects are local initiatives financed by the Federal Foreign Ministry through the German Embassy and are implemented through non-profit entities. Through quick and direct assistance, the projects aim to directly improve the quality of life among the poorest sectors of society.

To qualify for funding, the project should include a sizeable number of beneficiaries, partnership contribution from the proponent organization, be completed within the same year, and thereafter sustained by the proponent organization.

For more information on the German Embassy’s grants for small-scale projects, contact the Development Cooperation Section through their website www.manila.diplo.de or (02) 702-3035.