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NegOcc organic farm areas expanding

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Farmers selling organic products at the Provincial Capitol grounds in Bacolod City.* Capitol PIO photo

Organic farms in Negros Occidental have further widened in area to 2,000 hectares, disclosed Provincial Agriculturist Edmundo Raul Causing yesterday.

With this development, Causing said they are now looking at going mainstream, with the establishment of organic hubs, “as promised by officials of the Department of Agriculture, during initial talks with Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson.”

Causing said the loosening of pandemic guidelines resulted in people reverting to healthy foods. He hopes they will pay the premium organic producers are asking.

The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist is currently marking the 15th Negros Island Organic Farmers Festival at the Provincial Capitol Grounds in Bacolod City.  Eighty organizations and individuals engaged in organic farming are participating.

In Gov. Lacson’s message read by Board Member Andrew Montelibano, chair of the committee on Agriculture of the Negros Occidental Sangguniang Panlalawigan, he disclosed that the province, conscious of the urgency to pursue organic farming, has endeavored for its advancement and practice.

“Because of this, we have earned several national awards over the years, being one of the Top Performing Organic Agricultural Province,” Lacson said.

As we open our 15th Negros Island Organic Farmers’ Festival after a hiatus due to the pandemic, we reaffirm our goal to enhance the market potential of our organic products, he added.

Organic Agriculture need not be limited to mere production, it has to be enhanced by entrepreneurship and it has to be a viable source of income, Lacson stressed.

As stated in Section 2 of the Organic Agricultural Act of the Philippines, the promotion of the practice of organic agriculture will cumulatively condition and enrich the fertility of the soil, increase farm productivity, reduce pollution and destruction of the environment, prevent the depletion of natural resources, further protect the health of farmers, consumers, and the general public, and save on imported farm inputs, Lacson further said.

“It is time we show the world that Negros is more than just sugar, that Negros is the place where you can succeed if you try, where a healthy economy can advance by what we make and innovate in a sustainable manner,” he pointed out.*

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