All set for organic agri production in WV

ILOILO CITY, (PNA)-– The Dept. of Agriculture reported the increasing demand for organic agriculture products which are slowly penetrating supermarket chains and restaurants due to broadening demand brought by growing health consciousness and wellness trend in the country.

Dr. Hector Peñaranda, DA regional focal person of organic agriculture, said the vast opportunities for growing organic products are just waiting in competition with the conventional farming systems.

DA and Central Philippine University in Jaro, Iloilo City organized the first Organic Agriculture Stakeholders Summit on September 3-6, 2013 participated by organization advocates of organic foods, local government units with organic agriculture program and the academe in promoting awareness on healthy and organic foods.

Peñaranda said the National Organic Agriculture Program in 2012-2016 envisions organic farming contribution of at least five percent of Philippine agricultural farm areas and consumers both national and international increasing support to Philippine organic food products by 2016.

Recent scientific discoveries further bolster the production of organic foods.

However, Philippine exports only reached a minimal reaching US $ 18 million in 2006.

The ever increasing global demand for organic food and beverages reached US $ 15.6 billion in 2009, posting an average hike of US $ 5 billion a year.

Peñaranda said there is much money in organic agriculture by growing fruits and vegetables the organic way by diverting eventually from chemical fertilizers and inputs.

These products include bananas, melons, carrots, fruit vegetables, leafy vegetables, legumes and rice.

Western Visayas is a leading agricultural advocate and organic agriculture is fast being absorbed by farmers in limiting or not using chemical fertilizers.