DTI sets organic cultivation training

Mar. 23, 2009

DTI sets organic cultivation training

TAGUM CITY – “We have to brace for the crisis. Magkinaunsa man ta ani, pagkaon man jud ang kinahanglan. (Come what may, food is what we need most).”

This was the blunt statement made by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Davao del Norte director Nenita Nazareno when she announced a series of seminar/trainings for farmers on the production of organic micro-nutrient and fertilizer plainly dubbed as ‘Growing Food the Natural Way.’

When times are hard, food should be produced at the least possible cost. Nazareno pointed out that growing food organically not only saved on costly urea fertilizer, it saved the environment.

The DTI provincial head added that the project was intended to help displaced workers including retrenched overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), the unemployed and the disadvantaged sectors particularly women. Participants should have at least one-fourth hectare of land for vegetable raising

Nazareno is also looking at the project as a way of addressing the perennial cycle of indebtedness of farmers as it promotes an agri-business concept of transforming farmers into entrepreneurs. She said farmers would be given the capacitaty to run and manage an organic center where farm produce in one area could be sold together. Farmers would also be taught about value-adding through food processing.

Trainings were first done in Sto. Tomas and New Corella. The most recent initiative in Tagum City saw 50 participants — youth leaders, agriculture technicians, vegetable growers, as well as unemployed and underemployed workers.

The trainings were also being done in cooperation with the private sector. Andre and Josephine Lim of the LTS Marketing were included as resource speakers, sharing their personal experience as successful practitioners of natural farming.

Aside from the economic returns for the farmers, Nazareno said the project is seen to have a positive ecological impact because agricultural products are grown organically and naturally. She pointed out that, if widely adopted, the production of organic micro-nutrient as farm inputs will eventually result in foreign exchange savings because farmers would be able to produce their own fertilizer — import substitutes to the costly urea.

Nazareno said the seminar/trainings piggybacked on the implementation of the Embrace or Enriching and Mobilizing Barangays for Resource Access and Consumer Empowerment program, which embraces an advocacy on Consumer Action for Sustained and Healthy Lifestyle (Cash-L).

Nazareno explained the project runs in line with the thrust of President Gloria Arroyo to make food available on every table and to provide jobs in response to the Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (Cleep).(PIA XI)

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