DA 7 to establish organic stall in Cebu before year ends
CEBU CITY, June 8 (PIA) -- An organic stall will soon be established in Cebu before the year ends as the Department of Agriculture (DA) pushes for massive public awareness on the importance of organic products.
Cris Lucero, chief of the Agribusiness Division of DA 7, bared that they are still scouting on the appropriate local government unit and an operator to man the organic stall.
â€śThe stall will exclusively display all kinds of organic products and should be placed in a strategic area,â€ť said Lucero.
Lucero said that Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala is calling for absolute support to organic agriculture because this would spare farmers from spending expensive chemical-based fertilizers and pesticides.
Apart from Cebu, organic stalls will also be put up in the provinces of Bohol and Negros Oriental this year, Lucero revealed.
The DA is said to be allotting P1 billion budget for the allocation of organic farming programs.
Romano Laurillo, who is promoting organic rice in different variants, said that although organic products may be a little bit expensive than the traditional products, more savings can be gained in the long run.
â€śGoing into organic farming can save as much as 50 to 60 percent in production costs as farmers will no longer buy expensive chemical-based inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides,â€ť Laurillo explained.
Organic farming can also maximize harvest yield because of the rich soil build-up due to the non-based chemical inputs, â€śUnlike the use of chemicals which eventually makes the soil poor affecting harvest volume,â€ť he disclosed.
In addition, the health benefits that one gains from consuming organic foods cannot be disputed. â€śWe should never compromise our health,â€ť stressed Laurillo in comparing organic to traditional products.
Though organic foods may be slightly higher in costs, Laurillo said that when the time comes that organic products penetrate the mainstream market, there will be a dip in prices due to the law of supply and demand.
Laurillo expressed gratitude to Sec. Alcala for his total support to organic farming. The organic rice producer and trader representing Bios Dynamics Multi-Purpose Cooperative from North Cotabato, Mindanao, is in Cebu to display his organic rice products in the three-day 2nd Visayas-Mindanao Fruits and Vegetable Market Encounter and Trade Exhibit starting tomorrow until Sunday at SM City Cebu.
One of the 30 exhibitors from South Cotabato, Laurillo said that he hopes to tap the Cebu market for his organic rice, which has just been certified last year allowing them to export the product to Germany.
Bai Dido Samama, Agribusiness Division chief of DA-12, meanwhile said that around 20 percent of the total farmers in South Cotabato are now into organic farming.
The 2nd Visayas-Mindanao Fruits and Vegetable Market Encounter and Trade Exhibit is a collaborative effort of DA 7 and DA 12 as well as the Growth for Equity in Mindanao to provide a venue between farmers and producers to institutional market buyers here. (FCR/PIA 7-Cebu)
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