Pro­mo­tion of or­ganic agri­cul­ture pushed

Sun.Star Baguio - - Front Page - Lauren Alimondo Sun*Star Re­porter

THE SALAD Bowl of the coun­try is set to go or­ganic.

A pro­posed or­di­nance pro­mot­ing and de­vel­op­ing or­ganic agri­cul­ture and bio­di­ver­sity con­ser­va­tion has been in­tro­duced in Benguet.

Pro­po­nent Board Mem­ber Robert Namoro, who also chairs the com­mit­tee on agri­cul­ture said the or­di­nance aims ex­pand the prac­tice of or­ganic farm­ing in the province, ed­u­cate stake­hold­ers on the prin­ci­ples of sus­tain­able or­ganic farm­ing and pro­mote the devel­op­ment of or­ganic prac­tice.

“Through or­ganic farm­ing, our de­pen­dency on im­ported haz­ardous fer­til­izer and pes­ti­cides will be less­ened and will make agri­cul­tural prod­ucts free from health threat­en­ing toxic sub­stances and to serve as an al­ter­na­tive en­vi­ron­ment friendly farm­ing sys­tem in the phase of large scale agri­cul­ture prod­uct in in­duced in Ge­net­i­cally Mod­i­fied Or­gan­isms,” Namoro added.

The pro­posed or­di­nance covers the im­ple­men­ta­tion of or­ganic agri­cul­tural pro­grams, projects and ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing the pro­vi­sion and de­liv­ery of sup­port ser­vices with focus on the farm­ers and other stake­hold­ers.

More­over, the scope of the pro­posed mea­sure in­cludes all agri­cul­ture com­modi­ties from live­stock and its by-prod­ucts, crop pro­duc­tion, food pro­cess­ing, aqua­cul­ture, pro

duc­tion of or­ganic farm in­puts, and for­est prod­ucts.

Dur­ing the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on Fri­day, or­ganic farmer Ro­gel Marsan ex­pressed his sup­port to the pro­posed or­di­nance and pointed the es­tab­lish­ment of mar­ket site as con­tin­u­ing chal­lenge of those gear­ing to go or­ganic.

Marsan is one of the few pi­o­neers of or­ganic farm­ing in the re­gion and the province.

His farm, the Cos­mic Farm is a half hectare land in Beckel, La Trinidad which serves as a demo farm and cater to different high­land vegetable or­ganic prod­ucts.

Un­der the pro­posed or­di­nance, the Benguet Pro­vin­cial Tech­ni­cal Com­mit­tee on Or­ganic Agri­cul­ture will act as the pol­icy mak­ing and rec­om­menda­tory body that are set to im­ple­ment pro­vin­cial or­ganic agri­cul­tural pro­gram, stan­dards and ac­cred­i­ta­tion, es­tab­lish­ment of or­ganic farms and or­ganic agri­cul­ture learning cen­ters, con­ser­va­tion of in­dige­nous farm prac­tices and re­sources, or­ganic seed bank, pro­mo­tion of ur­ban/ back­yard gar­den­ing, in­te­grated or­ganic farm­ing sys­tem, and sup­port ser­vices to farm­ers who wish to en­gage in or­ganic agri­cul­ture.

An ini­tial P2 mil­lion is eyed to be ap­pro­pri­ated an­nu­ally un­der the Of­fice of Pro­vin­cial Agri­cul­tur­ist.

Photo by Milo Brioso

GOING OR­GANIC. A let­tuce farmer checks on her pro­duce in one of the or­ganic farms in La Trinidad. Or­ganic farm­ing is be­ing pushed in the province hop­ing to lessen the de­mand on haz­ardous fer­til­iz­ers.

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