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PIA Press Release

DA supports organic farming

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (1 February) -- Organic farming which is now part of the Department of Agriculture's income diversification program, are encouraging more farmers to practice organic farming.

This was bared by DA secretary Arthur Yap, in his visit to Davao city yesterday during the inauguration of the Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA) Projects.

Yap, in an interview, said that this kind of agriculture finds a niche with the wellness culture that developed countries are into.

"Organic products are considered as high-value mixed products by countries with health conscious consumers," he said.

However, he said the agriculture department has not yet allotted a budget to promote and campaign for organic agriculture.

" This time, we are letting the market forces to dictate the demand for organic products. But we are urging the farmers to allot a portion of their farm for organic agriculture," he stressed.

Nevertheless, the government has shown support for organic farming through Executive Order 481 which promoted and develops organic agriculture in the Philippines.

The said EO recognizes the potential of organic agriculture, increasing value-added in agricultural export and local consumption products.

This was pushed after stakeholders recognized the potential of certified organic farming as a way to lower input costs, utilization of local material inputs, conserve non-renewable resources, mainstream into high-value markets and improve farm income.

The said EO also paved the way for the creation of the National Organic Agriculture Board (NOAB) chaired by the DA secretary with six representatives from the public sector and seven representatives from the private sector.

Along with the National Technical Committee (NTC), the NOAB serves as the data information center that integrates and disseminates data through electronic and other means to interested stakeholders.

The Bureau of Export Trade Promotion (BETP) of the Department of Trade and Industry, and the Agribusness Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS) of the DA have been identifying marketing and promotional strategies to better access organic agriculture products in the local and export markets. (PIA XI) [top]

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