More farmers going organic
More Filipino farmers are shifting to organic agriculture production in the last four years because of increased government support in training, research, and provision of supplies.
Based on the National Organic Agriculture Program (NOAP) report, farmers engaged in organic agriculture were limited to 8,980 in 2011 but has ballooned to 43,470 organic farming practitioners today.
The number of farmlands devoted to organic farming has also increased from 14,140 hectares in 2011 to 107,911 hectares in 2015.
NOAP Director Elsa Parot credited the number of farmers who have shifted to organic, for the 442, 510 MT of organic agriculture produced in 2015, which, compared to the 12, 899 MT yield in 2011 is considered a significant boost to the trade, especially with the growing market demand for organic produce in the world.
Farmers who join the NOAP are given DA-RFOs starter seeds, planting materials and fertilizers. They are also encouraged to join training and extension that demonstrate organic farming technologies.
An earlier report has pegged the international “healthy” industry to be at $10 billion, a market potential that the Philippines could well take advantage of in terms of export. (ANGEL ONG)