BAGUIO CITY – The Organic Agriculture Program (OAP) of the Department of Agriculture- Cordillera (DA-CAR) continues to reach and support organic farmers in the region.
The Organic Agriculture Cordillera listed about 44, 676 organic practitioners; 140 organic farmer organizations, 19 organic market outlets, 4 certified organic farms, 17 organic learning sites, 18 organic concoction centers, and 10 Organic Trading Posts.
Out of 177, 839 ha of agricultural land in the region, 8,892 ha will be devoted to organic farming by the end of this year, coupled with the increase volume of production of the priority commodities and the increase of organic farmer practitioners.
In CY 2014-2016, the region attained 37, 992.88 MT volume of production for heirloom rice.
The region has accomplished 34 small scale composting facilities, 10 composting facilities for biodegradable waste; and, 7 organic coffee processing centers in partnership with Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) and Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech).
Moreover, the region continues to produce awardees which helps promote the program. In the year 2013, four won as National Organic Agriculture Achievers Awardees. In 2014, two of the five finalists won, while in 2015, there were four finalists and two won for the NOAAA and one (1) received the Gawad Saka National Award. This year, two (2) are nominated for the NOAAA.
Lilybeth C. Paraoan, Regional OA Focal Person encourages farmers to practice organic agriculture and attain a certification for the third party through Organic Center Certification of the Philippines (OCCP), the certifying body, in order for the DA-CAR to help the farmers market their products in a premium price.
By Leny Mendoza