Press Release
April 28, 2016

Villar: PH should enhance organic farming capability

Sen. Cynthia Villar is convinced that one of the areas that would give the country an advantage over its ASEAN neighbors is the area of organic agriculture.

During the 16th National Convention cum Seminar/Workshop of the League of Municipal Agricultural Officers, Municipal/City Agriculturists of the Philippines (LeMMCAP) in Pasay City recently, Villar said this competitive edge should be enhanced especially now that the implementation of the regional economic integration under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) has already started.

"We are an agricultural country, so we should be experts in matters pertaining to agriculture. We can use that expertise to become more competitive, because together with increased competition, AEC will also bring about more opportunities," Villar said.

Villar, chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, also noted that under Republic Act No. 10068 or the "Organic Agriculture Act of 2010," at least five percent of Philippine agricultural farms will be converted into organic by this year.

The implementation of the National Organic Agriculture Program was boosted with the turn-over of Small Scale Composting Facilities (SSCFs) to farmer-beneficiaries all over the country by the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) .

At the moment, the Philippines ranks fourth among the leading Asian countries in terms of land devoted to organic agriculture, Villar cited.

Villar also urged farmers to produce their own organic fertilizers as inorganic pesticides and fertilizers are costly and will mean lesser income for them.

The lady senator also mentioned the organic fertilizer-making project which she started in Las Pinas. Using two methods, rotary composting and vermicomposting, composting centers were built in the barangays to convert kitchen and garden wastes into organic fertilizer. There are 70 composters distributed, which presently serve 35,000 households. The organic fertilizers were distributed for free to farmers and vegetable gardeners.

"Ang pag-process ng mga kitchen at garden wastes into fertilizers ang isa rin sa dahilan bakit ang Las Pinas ay isa sa may pinakamaliit na garbage hauling expenses sa mga syudad sa Metro Manila," she added.

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