Tuesday, June 2, 2015

PH First Organic Trading Center in Nueva Vizcaya Starts Operation

Photo from www.trekearth.com
Built to boost organic farming in the country, the first organic trading center in the Philippines is now operational and ready to cater to farmers, traders, and buyers of organic agricultural products.

Located in Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya, Cagayan Valley Regional Organic Trading Center (ROTC) is an P18-million facility established to provide production assistance, semi-processing facilities, marketing promotion and trading facilities for organic agricultural products.

The facility was built within the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) 183-hectare Nueva Vizcaya Experiment Station, which also produces organic livestock, cutflower and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)-certified vegetables.

Specifically, ROTC 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 training.

DA Secretary Proceso Alcala said the center will be a model to promote holistic, sustainable, inclusive agricultural growth through organic farming in the country.

“We cannot discount the role of organic farming in improving the health of the soil, the environment and our people,” Alcala, who is also the author of RA 10068 or the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, 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.

However, he pointed out that the country has much work left to do to convert at least 5 percent of its 9.671 million hectares of agricultural lands into organic farms.

He said 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.

Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/ph-first-organic-trading-center-in-nueva-vizcaya-starts-operation/
Written by: Madelaine B. Miraflor

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