Mr. Noel Salazar on his discussion on the history of farming in the Philippines.(Photo by: Paulo Emmanuel M. Ajose, RAFIS DA- MiMaRoPa)
The Organic Agriculture Program (OAP) of Department of Agriculture (DA)- MiMaRoPa recently conducted the Training on Organic Agriculture production and Certification Training held in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro.
This training aims to encourage and convince the farmers to engage in organic farming as well as its benefits to the consumers.
As of 2018, MiMaRoPa Region has 17,781.9 hectares (ha) of organic area and has a 13,409.1 ha planned to convert until 2022.
The training was conducted by Mr. Noel B. Salazar, Director of National Organic Agriculture Board and a member of Agro Eco Philippines, a non- government organization who helps farmers in promoting organic and traditional agriculture with a touch of modern technology.
During the training proper, Mr. Salazar discussed the history of farming in the Philippines and the importance to know the traditional varieties of our crops. “Kailangan nating malaman kung ano ba yung mga variety na meron at mapaunlad ito nang may pagkakakilanlan tayo sa merkado” he said.
He cited Thailand and Vietnam as example of countries who set their own rice variety in worldwide market.
Mr. Salazar also taught the participants on how to produce their own seeds; vermicomposting and sustainable fertilizer production; on-hand production of different concoctions; and trained the participants on organic agriculture certification.
He also want to expand the Farmers' Learning Center with seed bank wherein the farmers can go there and learn different techniques and technologies in organic farming and also to have a sustainable agriculture in their place.
The participants were glad that they attended the training and they will go home with new knowledge about organic farming. As one participant said, “ napakalaking tulong po nitong training na ito sa amin, dahil dito nadagdagan ang aming kaalaman tungkol sa organikong pagsasaka. Mas lalo naming mamahalin ito dahil gusto naming na ligtas ang makakain namin at ng mga tao”.
With this training, the Organic Agriculture Program has an assurance that more farmers will engage in organic farming despite the challenges that the program is facing now.
The participants having Organic Agriculture sign with Mr. Peter Gallinera (2nd front left), Laurence real (4th from left, Jehu Michael Barrientos (3rd from right), Mr. Mike Iledan (2nd from right), and Mr. Noel B. Salazar (2nd row right) Photo By: Paulo Emmanuel M. Ajose, RAFIS DA- MiMaRopa