Philippines: First organic trading center now open
The Cagayan Valley Regional Organic Trading Center (ROTC) in Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya was opened by Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso Alcala on 21 May 2015. The first organic trading center of the Philippines was built at the 183-hectare Nueva Vizcaya Experiment Station and is now open to farmers, traders and buyers. The center has an agribusiness development center, an organic native chicken production center, an administration building, a fruit processing and packaging building, a wild pig conservation and production center, and a GAP vegetable production area. The center also has function halls and dormitories to accommodate organic farming practitioners for trainings. (Picture by Mac Garcia)
Alcala, the author of RA 10068 or the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, said the center will be a model to promote holistic and sustainable agricultural growth through organic farming. “The country’s volume of organic production increased from 4,500 metric tons in 2009 to 27,000 metric tons in 2014,” Alcala explained and continued that the country had much work left to do to convert at least 5% of its 9,671 million hectares of agricultural land into organic farming.
He also acknowledged that there were problems such as costly third party certification, insufficient supply of organic planting materials and lack of transport and trading equipment. The DA had already put up programs to challenge this, Alcala stated. Among those were organic agriculture training programs, demo farms, organic farming facilities as well as subsidies for third party certification, he said. The full article is available from the Philippine Information Agency
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