TALISAY CITY, NEGROS – The National Organic Agriculture Board (NOAB) of the Department of Agriculture is working hard to lower the prices of organic products to make it affordable even for the poor.
This was disclosed by Agriculture undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, who co-chairs the NOAB, during the opening of the Fresh Start Organic and Natural store and café at The District North Point mall here Friday afternoon.
“The prices of organic products should be lowered because the farmers produce and apply organic fertilizer,” she said.
Puyat encouraged farmers to go organic because it’s already in demand both in the local and the international markets.
“Our aim is to produce more organic products because it’s already in demand locally,” she said.
However, she noted that it’s not easy for organic products to enter the international market because of the certification required.
The Negros organic products by Fresh Start has already earned international recognition especially the organic coffee, organic muscovado and organic black rice which are already certified by the DA.
As to the form of assistance to organic farmers, the DA provides organic seed, organic fertilizer, trading posts and farmers’ trainings, and certification, she said.
At present there are about 4,000 hectares of organic farm in Negros Occidental.
Meanwhile, Puyat said she is going to inspect this Saturday a pilot coffee plantation in Canlaon City, Negros Oriental that uses bee-keeping organic technology which has a high-yield.
The bee-keeping production provides income especially for women when there’s no harvest for coffee because products from honey bees are also in demand now, she said.