With a total of 136,649 hectares of agricultural land, Davao del Sur was able to convert 14,145.07 hectares to organic, benefiting 11,305 farmers all over the province.
The province was cited as outstanding province in the 2016 National Organic Agriculture Congress (NOAC) held in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte .
Raul Fueconcillo, Davao del Sur provincial agriculturist said the prize won in the 2016 NOAC which is P3 million was divided to 14 organic farmers associations.
The project of the province consists of financial assistance to organic farmers’ associations, non-government organizations (NGOs), people’s organization (POs), indigenous people (IPs) as well as cooperatives; the improvement/upgrading of the existing Trichoderma Laboratory for the production of organic fertilizers; construction/renovation of Provincial Nursery Office with Warehouse; production and utilization of Compost Fungus Activator (Trichoderma harzianum) and other Organic Agriculture Programs; establishment of techno-demo projects on Organic Agriculture Program at the Provincial Nursery, Bansalan, Davao del Sur.
Fueconcillo said three big players from the province influenced their win in 2016 namely: Lao Integrated Farms Inc. in Bansalan, Magsaysay Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative (MOFARMCO) in Magsaysay and Fairtrade Farmer’s Coconut Cooperative in Padada.
Lao Integrated Farms Inc. produces healthier alternative sweeteners like coco sugar, coco honey, and coco sap drink known for their supposedly lower glycemic index.
Aside from his coconut-based major products, Lao also produced ice cream using goat’s milk with flavors such as moringa, turmeric, durian, mangosteen tea, lemon grass tea, turmeric tea, among others.
Named after Magsaysay, the rice-producing town in Davao del Sur, MagRice created a stir when it first came out in the market. It was the first initiative of a local government unit to support organic rice production wherein MOFARMCO was the distributor of the red, black and brown MagRice.
Fairtrade Farmer’s Coconut Cooperative supplied purely organic centrifuge virgin coconut oil exported to US, Europe, Japan, South Korea & Australia.
Fueconcillo thanked Department of Agriculture (DA) for the support extended to their province especially the shredders for vermicomposting, trichoderma packs and plastic containers for the concoctions.
“Nagpapasalamat kami sa DA kasi yung ibinigay nilang suporta ay malaki gaya ng shredders para sa vermicomposting at yung aming laboratory sa Trichoderma na continous na nagpaprocess para makaprovide kami ng organic fertilizers sa aming farmers,” Fueconcillo added.
Organic focal person plays a vital role in pushing for organic farming in Davao del Sur, Marylou Jalalon, also the region’s representative to the 2017 NOAC for outstanding provincial organic agriculture focal person.
She said they have provided technical assistance on mushroom production, vermicomposting production and Gulayan sa Paaralan to their organic farmers.
“As a focal person my role is to supervise or facilitate the organic agri projects of the municipalities. We also facilitated trainings for rapid composting technology, vermiculture technology, preparation of concoctions and mushroom production,” Jalalon added.
Davao del Sur is again hopeful to bag the outstanding province award on this year’s NOAC. (Che D. Palicte DA-11)