January 14, 2009
Letter to the Editor
Philippine Daily Inquirer
This is in reaction to Conrado R. Banal III’s column entitled “Rice and fall” (Page B4, PDI dated January 13, 2009).
The Go Organic! campaign was set in motion last year under Phase I of the Organic FIELDS Support Program (OFSP) and is being implemented by the Go Organic! Philippines through its affiliates the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) and the La Liga Policy Institute (La Liga) in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) along with other non-government organizations (NGOs) and people’s organizations (POs) to promote organic farming in the country.
We are proud to inform you that we are now in the initial stage of implementing the Organic FIELDS which aims to prepare farmers to go organic as part of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) thrusts to achieve rice self-sufficiency and ensure food security in the country.
It aims to actually expand areas devoted to organic rice farming and be able to reduce the country’s dependence on chemical-based farm inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides. Organic farming promotes consumer welfare as organic rice is definitely healthier and safer to eat.
Through Organic FIELDS, 600 farmers from six towns and cities will be trained with various organic farming systems and technologies that are proven to be effective. This is in preparation for the conversion of 10 percent of the 1.9 million rice farms into organic farm sites.
Actual training on system of rice intensification (SRI) and organic fertilizer production, and other natural pest control methods have already started late last year and are now in various stages of implementation.
Organic rice farming, hopefully, will pave the way for the production of healthier, environment-friendly agricultural produce starting with the staple food, the production of which has become heavily dependent on imported fertilizers and pesticides.
We in the Go Organic! Philippines are confident that campaign will not only contribute in meeting the country’s rice self-sufficiency targets through the massive production of organic fertilizer, but will also promote sustainable agriculture in the near future.
Hopefully, with the success of this program, we will get to enjoy eating rice without dying from eating chemicals.
Thank you and good day!
Ka Jimmy Tadeo
Spokesperson, Go Organic! Philippines
Matalino St., Diliman, Quezon City