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Feature: Beat El Niņo, have good harvest, go organic

Bacolod City (4 March) -- As damages to plants and animals soar high by the millions in the province, agriculturists are looking at going organic farming to take advantage of its benefits especially during El Niņo Phenomenon occurrence.

For one, San Carlos City Agriculturist Edgar De la Cruz said organic farming allows soil to retain moisture to a high degree resulting to healthier, better harvest and savings compare to inorganic farming.

"You will use less water because the organic material in the soil holds water by as much as 14 times the ordinary soil. In other words you can only water the plants once a week instead of applying water every day," he told PIA.

"Secondly, it tastes very, very good and very, very sweet? very tasty. And other things being equal, an organically grown crop? in terms of vitamin A and C is definitely higher."

In the case of eggplant, De la Cruz said inorganically grown ones are susceptible to plant and shoot borer which is its number one problem. But in organic farming "you will be surprise, less than one percent is attacked."

Pechay can also be harvested much earlier, he observed. If the growing to harvest period takes 21 days, they were able to have it in only 17 days.

According to De la Cruz, San Carlos City has more than one hectare of land devoted to organic planting and has 100 plots of 1X10 with hollow blocks planted with various vegetables.

It is also growing red lady papaya to a 6000 to 8000 square meter lot.

It is difficult to explain organic farming to the people but we have shown them how to do it by demonstrating how it should be done, he said.

"Time is with us and fate is with us because fertilizer is very costly, so, slowly, farmers are shifting." (PIA-LOL) [top]

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