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Organic farming in the Philippines

DA: Organic farming succeeds in Western Visayas

Organic farming in the Philippines
Organic farming in the Philippines

ILOILO CITY, Philippines —There is no reason for organic farming to fail in Western Visayas, its birthplace, an organic farming official said.

Director Leo Cañeda, Department of Agriculture’s national coordinator of organic farming, said this during the recent celebration of Pagnahi-an Festival in Bingawan, Iloilo.

The organic farming program of the Department of Agriculture has been running in the region for the last four years since the Organic Agriculture Act was passed in 2010.

Dir. Cañeda said the law aims to convert five percent of the country’s agricultural land areas into organic agriculture.

In Western Visayas, out of 633,000 hectares of agricultural areas, about 32,000 have been transformed as of date, as per DA record.

The province of Negros Occidental, known for its muscovado sugar, aims to be the organic farming capital of the country.

In a forum in Bingawan, Mayor Matt Palabrica said the town will soon pass an ordinance on organic farming implementation to increase the town’s production and mitigate effects of climate change.

DA-6 Regional Technical Director Joyce Wendam said the organic agriculture program will provide Bingawan farmers production support services, implementation roadmap, and technical training.

In the same forum, Dr. Jaime Cabarles, dean, Central Philippine University College of Agriculture, Resources and Environmental Sciences, shared with the farmers the effective ways of raising native chickens.

“Grow native chickens competitively to avoid the woes on product mismatch,” Cabarles said, as he urged them to contribute in making the region as native chicken capital of the country.

On the other hand, Clarence Jereza of the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, said small scale farmers who are into rice, corn, high value crops and livestock production can avail of the crop insurance program.

Farmers attending the forum received 10 bags of certified seeds, open pollinated variety  white corn seeds, and IEC materials for other details.

The law provides that farmers conform to  the Philippine National Standard  on Organic Farming in order to be certified as organic practitioners and for their products to have access to domestic and  foreign markets.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.