Wag pilitin! Piñol says don’t force farmers to go organic
Change isn’t always good, especially when used to conventional ways.
Department of Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said that conventional farmers should not be forced to adapt to new procedures and methods, including organic farming, Rappler reported.
“I’m an organic farmer, I don’t want to impose on farmers who would like to hang on to their traditional farming method to become organic farmers overnight because that’s gonna destroy our food production program,” Piñol told Rappler after President Duterte’s first SONA.
“Our program right now is to support both organic farming and the traditional farming method. But I believe that you don’t really have to convince farmers. It is the market that will decide, that would have influence on the farming system,” he said.
Piñol explained the situation of local banana farmers in Davao, who went to adapt organic farming when importer country Japan opposed the use of pesticides in its products.
Rappler said that farmers are still the second poorest sector next to fisher folks. Recent figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority presented that farmers have a poverty incidence of 38.3%.
“[Of the poor farming sector], 68% are below subsistence that’s why we need a farming system that is not expensive,” Piñol added.