By: Cathy Cruz

Monsanto Philippines recently held a showing of the animated version of the only Filipino children’s book on biotech corn titled Lina’s Town Rises Again at the Department of Education (DepEd) Library Hub located near Davao City Hall.

Division Librarion II and Dep Ed Hub Coordinator Rosalie Antipuesto said the animation had a very good impact on the attending kids because they were getting good information while being entertained. “You can also see that they are starting to get interested in agriculture because of their engagement and the questions they ask.”

Lina’s Town Rises Again was written for elementary school children to develop a basic understanding of the impact of biotech corn in social, economic and environmental terms. It touches on the themes of sustainability, collaboration and safety by narrating the true and inspiring story of how biotech seeds positively transformed a woman farmer’s life, and enabled her farming community to recover economically in the aftermath of a devastating typhoon.

The inspiration of the said story was Consolacion Reyes, a lady farmer whose life turned upside down when Typhoon Pablo not only destroyed her house and crops but also her entire community. She and her neighbors were forced to take shelter at an evacuation center when the entire municipality of Lambayong went under water. Upon returning to the village, they saw that the super typhoon had destroyed everything.

Seeing her difficulty, a good samaritan lent her money which she used to buy biotech corn. Her harvest was abundant; so after some time, she was able to get back on her feet. A few harvests later and she started to earn consistently higher income. Now, she is among the more prosperous farmers in her town.

The story is authored by Chat Ocampo, Corporate Engagement Lead – Philippines, who has previously authored two children’s books. The book was written in an informative writing style to keep the interest of young readers while conveying some highly technical information on seeds and deliver messages of sustainability and safety.

By writing this book, Ocampo feels she is able to do her share in “keeping the younger generations interested in matters related to agriculture while reaching out to equally important societal audiences such as young parents and teachers.”

Meanwhile, Antipuesto said “I hope Monsanto is able to do more of these activities which not only encourages interest in agriculture but also love for science. It is also good to see students and teachers getting clear and straightforward answers on some information that they receive about biotech crops.”