THE Second Regional Organic Summit organized by the Department of Agriculture (DA) Western Visayas kicks off today, August 12, at Punta Villa Resort and Convention Center in Iloilo City.
Madelene Dulaca, agriculture provincial coordination officer of DA-6, yesterday said the summit, which will run until Friday, will be attended by organic growers, producers, and retailers, and students in Western Visayas.
The activity is aimed at further boosting the organic industry in the region by highlighting different organic practices, its benefits to farmers, and public health and wellness.
A research symposium for students will also be conducted.
Organic farmers and producers will set up booths to showcase their respective products.
Moreover, the DA is also pushing farmers in Western Visayas to venture into organic livestock raising and apply for certification for their farm to go organic with the Organic Certification Center of the Philippines (OCCP), for instance.
Dulaca noted that in terms of organic agriculture, Negros Occidental is a potential part of Western Visayas as it covers larger organic land area compared to other provinces in Panay Island.
Earlier, Ramon “Chin-chin” Uy, president of Organic Na Negros Producers and Retailers Association (Onopra), said efforts on improving the organic industry in the province continue especially now with the creation of Negros Island Region (NIR).
With more and stronger collaboration with farmers in Negros Oriental, the local industry can surely help increase the existing estimate of about one to two percent food market share of organic products in the country, Uy said.
He added that local farmers should realize that, “if they want not just to survive but also to be rich, they should venture as organic entrepreneurs, too.”
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 12, 2015.