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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, November 21, 2019
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Organic agriculture to get boost


Senator Cynthia Villar announced yesterday that there are measures underway to boost organic agriculture in the country.

Villar, who was guest speaker at the 14th Negros Island Organic Farmers Festival at the provincial Capitol grounds in Bacolod City that runs until Saturday, said an amendment to the organic law is being pushed to reduce the cost for small farmers availing of international organic certifications.

The amendment will provide for a participatory guarantee system that will reduce the cost of availing of an international organic certification for P100,000 to P150,000 annually that small farmers cannot afford, to P600 to P2,000 a year, Villar, Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food chair, said.

Villar said the amendment to the organic law will be pushed in plenary as soon as the 2020 national budget that is passed by the Senate.

The certification will allow organic farmers to sell their produce at higher cost, she said.

She pointed out that aside from farmers earning more money, organic food is healthier for those who consume it and protects the environment.

Villar said 38 percent of the Philippines soil is degraded, and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization experts have advised that the only way to arrest this is to use organic fertilizer.

So all local government units should recycle food and garden waste into organic fertilizer, she said.

Next year the Department of Environment and Natural Resources has agreed to give all LGUs composting facilities, and the Bureau of Soil and Water Management will also give composting facilities to make organic fertilizer, she said.

The DENR will also give all cities and provincial governments plastic recycling facilities to prevent plastics from ending up in the ocean, she said.

There is a prediction that by in 2050 there will be more plastics in the ocean than fish, which will cause their death, she warned.

So we must not let plastics end up in drainages that will lead to rivers and oceans, she said.

Plastic recycling facilities will also enable LGUs to produce school chairs at cheaper prices, she said.*


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