‘Public markets must start organic-produce section’

WITH a growing number of health-conscious Filipinos going for “healthier” food free of toxic chemicals, it’s about time public markets have their own section on “organic” produce.

Efren Moncupa, lead convenor of Go Organic! Philippines, a consortium of nongovernment organizations advocating organic farming in the Philippines, said even some grocery stores now have a section for organic rice, fruits and vegetables.

Some restaurants, he added, now have a menu for organic food for health-conscious customers.

“Filipino consumers are becoming more conscious of their health, particularly on the food they eat. The problem is they don’t know where to buy organic food. Public markets should have an organic section where organically grown produce, such as rice, fruits and vegetables, can be accessed,” he said.

Go Organic! Philippines promotes organic farming and is taking the lead in implementing the Organic Fields Support Program of the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Soils and Water Management.

Phase 1 of the project, launched by Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap last November, ended in April. Phase 2 of the project is currently in the pipeline.

“Local government units [LGUs] should similarly put up an organic-food section in the market, where organically grown products can be bought. It is also ideal that LGUs put up a bagsakan center for organically grown agricultural products, as well as byproducts, in support of the growing organic industry,” said Moncupa, a former agrarian-reform undersecretary and is now with the Malasimbu Agricultural Cooperative.

Officials of Alaminos City, Pangasinan, and Samal, Bataan, have initiated the move to turn their towns into organic zones. Aside from promoting organic farming among farmers, Alaminos City Mayor Hernani Braganza had ordered the administrator of the public market in the city to put up an organic section.

He said one way of promoting organic farming is to institutionalize support such as access for consumers and organic-food producers.

Mayor Rolando Tigas of Samal, who wants the entire town to go organic, is spearheading the move to convince farmers to shift from conventional to the more sustainable organic farming to boost their income.

Tigas has asked members of the Municipal Council to pass several resolutions in support of organic farming, including declaring the municipality an organic zone and one day a week as organic farming day, and a portion of the Samal public market a wholesale section for organic products.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by peio revuelta on March 10, 2010 at 1:28 pm

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