Negros Oriental to host 2nd Negros Island Organic Farmers’ Festival
By Rachelle Nessia
Dumaguete City (22 January) -- Agriculturists and agriculture enthusiasts in Negros Island will converge in Dumaguete City as Oriental Negros will play host to the second Negros Island Organic Farmers’ Festival on February 8 to 10, 2007.
The festival will banner the theme “Save the Earth – Negros, Go Organic,” according to Nitz Bangay, Information Officer of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist.
The festival, said Bangay, aims to promote a widespread awareness among farmers and agriculturists on the importance of adopting natural farming methods and discouraging the use of pesticide and chemical fertilizers.
Both Oriental Negros and Negros Occidental provincial governments are pushing for the organic farming technology or natural farming systems.
During the festival, organically-grown farm products from local government units all over the Negros Island will be exhibited in booths that will be set up at Freedom Park .
A symposia will also be held at the Lamberto Macias Sports Complex.
Topics that will be taken up include Organic Agriculture and Fair Trade, International Market for Organic Products and Lifestyle on Health and Sustainability, Prospects and Challenges in the Local Organic Market, Clustering as a Strategy for Global Competitiveness, Updates on the Optimization Standardization of Muscovado Processing, Rice Duck Raising and Organic Piggery, Organic Vegetable Production, Sloping Agriculture Land Technology (SALT 2), Organic Certification and Standards and Updates in Vermi-Composting.
A business counseling/technical and marketing sessions will also be done on February 9.
Participants will also be treated to agri-tours to the Bio-Intensive Garden in Brgy. Janay-Janay in San Jose and Caticugan Organic Tilapia Production site at Sitio Naga, Caticugan, Siaton.
The first Negros Island Organic Farmers’ Festival was held in Bacolod City on July 2006 wherein Oriental Negros delegates who attended were led by Governor George P. Arnaiz, Board Member Henry Pryde Teves and Provincial Agriculturist Gregorio Paltinca.
Meanwhile, the Philippines is set to sign 19 farm agreements with China involving investments worth P240.1 billion or $4.9 billion over the next five to seven years.
The deals include the development of 1.2 million hectares for rice, corn, sorghum and other crops in the Philippines, according to Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap.
The biggest of the deals will be a memorandum of agreement that will allow the Fuhua Group Ltd. to invest $3.83 billion in one million hectares of land in the country for higher-yielding corn, rice and sorghum.
The two agreements with total investments worth 43.4 billion pesos will also be signed with the Beidahuang Group, the corporate state farm of the Hei Long Jiang province. (PIA) [top]