Negrense wins WV outstanding organic farmer award

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Monday, July 14, 2014


THE Department of Agriculture (DA)-Western Visayas will award Negrense Ramon "Chinchin" Uy Jr. as the Regional Outstanding Organic Agriculture Farmer at the Gawad Saka awarding ceremony on July 29 at Iloilo Midtown Hotel in Iloilo City.

He also qualifies for the national search of Gawad Saka 2014.

Uy is the owner of Fresh Start Organic Farm at Hacienda Maquina in Silay City. He is the owner and co-founder of Fresh Start Organics, known for its wide selection of certified organic products that runs its own organic and natural store café at Robinsons Place Bacolod and The District North Point in Talisay City.

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He is also the president of ONOPRA (Organik na Negros! Organic Producers and Retailers Association).

Uy's award was announced by DA regional executive director Larry Nacionales to provincial agriculturist Igmedio Tabianan through a letter dated July 8, 2014.

Nacionales said the DA "holds on to its commitment of providing due recognition to the efforts and hard works of the farmers and agricultural stakeholders by conducting the annual Gawad Saka search."

"This undertaking provides farmers and fisherfolks, livestock raisers, and farmers organization the chance to showcase their outstanding accomplishments and innovations in pursuit of agricultural progress and inclusive growth," he added.

Since 2005, Fresh Start has been fostering organic agriculture in the province and operates the entire organic supply chain from organic fertilizer production, organic farming, organic food and cosmetics processing, marketing consolidation, and distribution.

Uy's regional award qualifies him for the national search for Gawad Saka 2014. He said the DA evaluators will come to Bacolod this week to interview him and see his farm and stores. The results will be finalized in October.

According to the DA website, 10 entries from Western Visayas had passed the regional screening, and three among them have qualified for the national screening.

Uy will vie for the Outstanding Organic Farmer award, Rudy Golez of Guimaras will compete in the outstanding coconut farmer award, and Sipalay Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (FARMC) will compete for the outstanding FARMC category.

President Benigno Aquino will award the plaques and cash prizes to the winners at rites in Manila in December.

Individual winners will receive P30, 000 each while winning groups will receive P50, 000 worth of project grant. Meanwhile, the attached bureaus will also give P50, 000 cash prize to winners in their respective categories

Meanwhile, other regional nominees are John Nievares’ family of Miag-ao, Iloilo for the farm family category; Resty John Suerto of Bago City, Negros Occidental for the young farmer category; Southern Iloilo Multi-purpose Cooperative, Inc. in Oton, Iloilo for the small farmer/fisherfolk organization category; Herminia Decaniel of Bago City, Negros Occidental for the sugarcane farmer category; Hansel Montaño of Isabela, Negros Occidental for the corn farmer category; Gilson Yap of Oton, Iloilo for high value crops farmer category and Federation of Hamtic Rural Improvement Club (RIC) of Hamtic, Antique for the RIC category.

As annual undertaking of the DA, Gawad Saka is aimed at recognizing the exemplary efforts and outstanding performance of the farmers, fisherfolk, livestock raisers and agri-entrepreneurs in propelling inclusive growth for the country’s economy.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 14, 2014.

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