Organic agriculture gaining ground in Western Visayas

ILOILO CITY, Aug. 11 (PNA) — Organic agriculture is fast gaining ground with the farming sector of Western Visayas as more Ilonggos are apt to appreciate health foods as well as protect the environment from toxic and poisonous chemicals.

This was the assessment of Nicanor Perlas, lead activator of non-government organization Solution Ecosystems Activator Inc., as the province of Iloilo celebrated a week-long Organic Agriculture in the region starting August 10.

Perlas said the shift to organic farming is noted high in the region due to health and environmental reasons as well as awareness on climate change due to chemical agriculture.

The Ilonggo farmers are somewhat conservative and only 20 percent are into organic farming. However, the recent advancement made by the Department of Agriculture (DA) has started awareness to veer away from chemical pesticide, insecticide and herbicide.

In Bingawan, Iloilo, Mayor Matt Palabrica admitted implementing organic agriculture in bananas as its one town-one product and allocated five percent of its land area to organic farming.

In Libacao, Aklan, Mayor Vincent Navarosa said that organic agriculture has sustained its abaca plantation as its prized one town-one product.

Perlas, an Ilonggo, said his company is putting up a demo center in Zarraga, Iloilo to showcase organic farming to the Ilonggos in a need to mainstream organic farming in the country. (PNA)