About the Founder
The Full Story
After working and living in the corporate world in Singapore for 16 years, Lanie Francisco decided that she wanted to go back to her native country, the Philippines to start natural farming.
Her journey began in 2009 when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She realized that chronic illnesses like cancer is caused by the toxins in the food we eat and also other environmental factors like the air we breathe and the water we drink including a stressful life style.
In 2016 her mother succumbed to the disease. She slowly transitioned out of her Corporate Career and started cultivating an organic farm in Nueva Ecija. Though the harvest was good, she realized that year after year, she will need to replace the organic fertilizers. Looking for a cost-effective solution, she tried vermiculture, but realized she was “scared of worms.”
Then someone suggested Bokashi. Using only the internet, she self-taught and gained the expertise through hands on experience and trial and error.
The challenge was to source the bran, which was usually imported and expensive. She decided to produce the bran herself using rice husk or “ipa”, usually discarded during the milling process. She also repurposed powdered sugar containers for her buckets.
The solution not only brought the price down but also helped farm workers find an alternative source of income. It also made her aware of the systemic issues being faced by landless farmers and the unending issues about solid waste in the Philippines. From there, Bokashi Ipa - her flagship product was born.