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PIA Press Release
Saturday, January 07, 2012

 

Feature: A small organic cooperative that earns big

by Rebecca Grace S. David

Tragedy brings out the best in man.

Abel Sicat, president of the Capas Organic Cooperative resigned from his job as manager of an insurance firm and decided to concentrate in farming his 2,000 square meters backyard in barangay Manlapig, Capas in Tarlac.

He said the death of his eldest son prompted him to venture in another field. Organic farming opened new challenges for him which really drew out his potentials.

It was at this time that Sibol ng Agham at Teknolohiya (SIBOL ) , a non-government organization (NGO) gave training to farmers who wish to engage in organic farming.

SIBOL has a 1.5 hectare training center and model organic farm that straddles barangays Mangga and Sta Rita in Capas town.

Abel invited 16 farmers whose backyard gardens range from 800 to 1,500 square meters to attend the training with him. From this seminar, they learned how to make vermicompost and indigenous microorganisms which are natural fertilizers.

They also formulated bio organic pesticides from the mixture of kakawate, sili, ginger and other plants. These natural products were used in spraying their vegetables like tomatoes, lettuce, arugula, cucumber, upo, patola, kangkong and bananas.

The group now sells 150 kilos of all the veggies they plant to the Good Food Company which in turn makes the organic products available to Metro Manila residents. The cooperative also brings 30 kilos of each of the products to the SIBOL twice a week. SIBOL also market these in the cities.

Abel and each of the other members earn some P20,000 each monthly from the sales of organic vegetables. They are now preparing the papers for their registration and accreditation by the National Organic Accreditation Board. (WLB/RGSD PIA-3)

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