Organic rice

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By Edna Garde

Edible Landscape

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


SOME Negrenses I know are going loco with organic rice. I, for one, would look for it whenever I buy our rice.

It was a good thing that ONOPRA (Organik na Negros! Producers and Retailers Association) established the Organic Market at the back of the Provincial Capitol during the term of the late Gov. Joseph Marañon. This was after our 1st Negros Island Organic Farmers Festival in 2006.

Many organic producers have been marketing their produce in that market, including, of course, our organic rice. To date, if ever you see organic rice over there, you can be sure it is certified organic by the 3rd level certifier—NISARD (Negros Island Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development).

It was more than a year after the establishment of Organic Market when ONOPRA catered only the certified organic producers in the market.

That is one reason why you see few farmers or people’s organizations (POs) selling their produce. Many are still processing their 3rd level certification with NISARD.

Well, that is just an information for those who have not tried buying the certified organic rice yet. What I am giving you now are facts on how to grow organic rice—which is the real core of the matter. I thank IRRI for sending me this fact sheet which I really would like to share to you dear readers!

Basically, you will be asking: What is organic rice?

Organic rice is certified by an independent body to have been grown and processed according to “organic” standards. While there is no single definition for “organic,” most definitions share common elements. For example, “organic” as applied to most field crops generally means that:

1. No synthetic or artificial chemical pesticides and fertilizers have been used;
2. Soil fertility is maintained through “natural” processes such as growing cover crops and/or the application of composted manure and plant wastes;
3. Crops are rotated in fields to avoid growing the same crop year after year in the same field;
4. Alternate (non-chemical forms) of pest control are used to manage insects, diseases and weeds (e.g. beneficial insects to prey on pests, mulches to suppress weeds, etc.)

As a farmer-entrepreneur, you might ask yourself: Why should I grow organic rice? Organic produce, especially in developed markets, usually commands higher prices. Organic produce is also often considered to be of greater benefit for health.

Basically, my health welfare is the driving factor why I love to eat organic produce, especially red rice. It does not just give you an extra energy but a lot of Vitamin B complex.

I’m sure you will agree with me that when you eat organic-red rice you don’t go hungry easily. Yes, because organic red rice has more fiber than the well-milled rice in the market. Every health-conscious person would say that red rice, especially organic one, is indeed beneficial for us all.

Eat organic rice and live longer!

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on June 17, 2014.

Lifestyle

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