Tuesday, February 23, 2016

CAR Gets Additional Eight Composting Facilities for Organic Farming

The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Soils and Water Management (DA-BSWM) through the National Organic Agriculture Program started the year with the turn-over of Small Scale Composting Facilities (SSCFs) to farmer-beneficiaries from the Provinces of Benguet, Mountain Province and Ifugao coinciding with the awarding of Composting Facility for Biodegradable Waste to Benguet Agri-Pinoy (BAPTC) held at the Ifugao Lodge, Camp John Hay, Baguio City on January 15, 2016.

BSWM Executive Director Silvino Q. Tejada said that, as an active implementing agency of the National Organic Agriculture Program, providing support and services in the form SSCFs would give positive impact in the production and commercialization of organic fertilizers to further boost organic agriculture in the country and help attain the Program’s goal of allocating 5 percent of agricultural land area to organic farming.

As new National Focal Person of the National Organic Agriculture Program, Dir. Tejada underscored the role of organic agriculture in improving soil quality and biodiversity likewise, addressing other related agricultural issues and major threats in the country such as land degradation. He said that, organic agriculture as a tool to combat land degradation increases the resilience of soils to water stress and nutrient loss. According to him, this will be promoted by continuous partnerships with farmer groups, state universities and Local Government Units.

During the awarding ceremony, Assistant Director Sonia Salguero highlighted the efforts and initiatives of the Bureau for almost 65 years to secure food sufficiency in the country.

"For almost six decades, the BSWM has been the farmers' and all other agriculture stakeholders' arm in securing food security through programs and projects we implement. The BSWM devote our service to provide quality assured projects for safer food to everybody in a large scale."

Moreover, climatic condition of the region is one of the major factors of intensive use of chemical fertilizers and insecticides because cold weather condition can bring about more active micro-organisms that cause damages to crops. In addition, conventional agriculture practices of the farmers also contribute to a lesser crop production and loss of soil fertility.

Since year 2009, Organic Agriculture Program has already established 138 community-based composting facilities to the provinces of Apayao, Abra, Kalinga, Mt. Province, Ifugao, Benguet and Baguio. These facilities are expected to reduce the dependence of farmers to chemical inputs.

Aside from the promotion of organic agriculture, SSCF also encourages farmers to produce their own organic fertilizers ranging from 60-80 bags of composts every 45 days to help farmers yield high production output and economic returns. A higher profit is expected because these facilities can provide the needed vermicast/vermicompost of farmer-beneficiaries within the targeted 100-hectare cluster farms and sell its remainders from other farm owners.

Beneficiaries also get hands-on training at the Regional Soils Laboratory with the help of BSWM staff and Regional Unit representatives.

   "Now that our country is being recognized all over Asia in terms of Organic Farming, BSWM will continue to promote the use of organic inputs through establishment of different facilities to strengthen the capacity of LGUs, Farmer Cooperatives and Associations, SUCs and even Civil Society Organizations to produce natural farming inputs," Salguero added. 

By: Loraine D. Cerillo - Project Development Officer II

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

2nd National Organic Agriculture Scientific Conference 2016

THE 2nd National Organic Agriculture Scientific Conference will be held on Feb. 16-20, 2016 at the Visayas State University in Baybay City, Leyte.

The event is under the auspices of the Organic Agriculture Society of the Philippines (OASP) headed by Arsenio “Toto” Barcelona of Harbest Agribusiness Corporation, a distributor of various agricultural products that include seeds, drip irrigation systems, farm machinery, organic pest control products, plastic products and more.

The association membership consists of scientists from state colleges and universities, students, researchers, organic farmers, inputs suppliers, traders and other stakeholders.

A total of 200 to 300 participants are expected to attend the conference at VSU. Speakers will tackle various aspects of organic agriculture.The first Organic Agriculture Scientific Journal will be launched published by OASP together with Benguet State University. The Young Organic Farmers Club will also be launched with Undersecretary Berna Romulo-Puyat as guest of honor.

In charge of the OASP Secretariat is Dr. Francisco Gabunada who could be contacted at 0905-913-2929. VSU President Jose L. Bacusmo can also be contacted at 0917-310-8076.


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