DA promotes organic farming vs climate change

The Agriculture Department is intensifying its effort to promote organic farming in the region in efforts to lessen the impact of climate change such as the El Nino.

The DA has the “Tipid Abono” program, a cost reduction strategy through judicious and minimum fertilization which not only aims to mitigate the effect of climate change but also to guide farmers particularly the hybrid and certified rice producers, for using the right mixtures of fertilizers and timely selection of the most soil-appropriate type and amounts of fertilizer that will ensure optimum crop yields and better income without causing decline in soil fertility.

DA-CAR Regional Technical Director Josephine Aben explained that through the “Tipid Abono” program, farmers could save money through the use of organic fertilizers, side by side with the traditional inorganic fertilizers.

Through the DA’s Bureau of Soils and Water Management, farmland soils will be analyze to determine the mixtures of organic and conventional fertilizer. The program will also enhance the farmers capability in composting, Aben added.

In the same forum, Cordillera Organic Agriculture Development Council Inc. (COADCI) chair Macario Cadatal stressed that the number of organic farmers and consumers are growing. This was confirmed by La Trinidad Organic Practitioner (LaTOP) chair Jefferson Laruan.

The climate change issue enhances the awareness of the people to their surroundings, it serves as an awakening for everybody and by venturing into organic farming or if farmers stop using synthetic fertilizers, which are harmful to our environment and a contributing factor to climate change, then maybe someday the production of synthetic fertilizers will also stop, Cadatal said.

Cadatal also encouraged government line agencies, LGUs, farmers, the academe, among others to join in a common goal of promoting organic agriculture in Cordillera to mitigate climate change and environmental degradation induced by conventional fertilizers.

“If farmers stop using synthetic fertilizers, then the production of these environmentally harmful pesticides will also eventually stop,” Cadatal added.

Meanwhile, DA-CAR) Regional Executive Director Cesar Rodriguez announced that the DA, through the BSWM is currently distributing throughout the region small shredder machines which are essential to composting.

Rodiguez also confirmed that El Niño is already affecting corn and rice production, as well as the region’s livestock and fishery sector. “Ang pagkawala ng mga punong kahoy at mga sunog na nagaganap sa ating mga kagubatan ay malaki ang kontribusyon sa epekto ng Climate Change sa ating rehiyon,” Rodriguez stressed. PIA

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