Local businessman Ramon Uy put up a farmers’ assistance center at their family-owned property in Barangay Pahanocoy, Bacolod City, to help farmers get access to information and resources.
Uy, president of R.U. Foundry and Machine Shop Corp., said yesterday that he established the Rural and Urban Farmers Assistance Center in December 2019 at May’s Organic Garden, that houses technology for organic farming, because there are still a lot of farmers who need assistance in terms of value-adding to their products, packaging, resources, and equipment.
Through the center, they can facilitate and address the needs and concerns of the farmers, he said.
“If they have a problem with packaging, we can refer them to the Department of Trade and Industry. If they want assistance on value-adding, we can point them to the Department of Science and Technology,” he added.
Farmers from around the country can also borrow seeds, organic fertilizers and pesticides, and equipment from the center, he said. He added that they can return them after the harvest so other farmers can also avail of them.
He said that the center, in coordination with the different government agencies and private sector groups, will also provide technical expertise in farming, such as land preparation and cultivation practices.
He said he continues to encourage farmers to convert into organic farming.
“I always assure them there is a niche market for organic products,” he added.
He said farmers have been using the traditional way of farming, but more production does not always translate to profitability.
“The number one market for organic products are retired people. They don’t mind paying more as long as it is for healthy food. And they have purchasing power,” he added.
He said they have been developing and producing technology so more farmers will be encouraged to go organic.*
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