Save 20% off! Join our newsletter and get 20% off right away!
Agriculture Secretary Proceso"Procy" Alcala

PH’s first organic trading center opens in Nueva Vizcaya

Agriculture Secretary Proceso"Procy" Alcala
Agriculture Secretary Proceso”Procy” Alcala

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Cagayan Valley Regional Organic Trading Center (ROTC) lin Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya opened its doors to farmers, traders and buyers of organic agricultural products with its inauguration on May 21, 2015 led by Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso Alcala.
The facility was built at the DA’s 183-hectare Nueva Vizcaya Experiment Station, which also produces organic livestock, cutflower and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)-certified vegetables, the DA said in a statement.
The ₱18-million worth ROTC will provide production assistance, semi processing facilities, marketing promotion and trading facilities for organic agricultural products.
The center has an agribusiness development center, organic native chicken production center, administration building, fruit processing and packaging building, wild pig conservation and production center, and a GAP vegetable production area. The center also has function halls and dormitories to accommodate organic farming practitioners for trainings.
Alcala, the author of RA 10068 or the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 said the center will be a model to promote holistic, sustainable, inclusive agricultural growth through organic farming.
“We cannot discount the role of organic farming in improving the health of the soil, the environment and our people,” Alcala said.
He added that despite difficulties, the organic agriculture movement in the country and around the world continues to grow.
“The country’s volume of organic production increased from 4,500 metric tons in 2009 to 27,000 metric tons in 2014,” Alcala said.
He also said that the country has much work left to do to convert at least 5% of its 9.671 million hectares of agricultural lands into organic farms.
He said that the ROTC is seen to spur interest in, and serve as a model on increasing organic agriculture production and trading in the country.
He also acknowledged that there are problems being faced by the organic agriculture industry such as costly third party certification, insufficient supply of organic planting materials and lack of transport and trading equipment but DA has already put up programs to challenge these. Among interventions provided by the DA are organic agriculture training programs, techno demo farms, organic farming facilities and implements, and subsidy for third party certification.

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.