Agriculture department stages ‘organic’ trade fair

THE Department of Agriculture (DA)-Northern Mindanao staged its 3rd Regional Organic Trade Fair (ROTF) at SM City Cagayan de Oro over the weekend.

The three-day event, which was held from November 18 to 20, featured 23 exhibitors from local government units and private sectors showcasing their own organic products and other value-adding and product innovations.

Visitors have a chance to taste some of the exhibitors' products, witness demonstrations and business matching.

Julie Lagumen, of Binahon Agroforestry Farm, one of the exhibitors, stressed the importance of organic foods in a persons' fast-paced life.

"Karon man gud kay gusto man ang mga tao ug instant so tungod pud sa kataas sa demand sa food, ang uban pud nga farms mo-resort nalang ug inorganic farming, pero kung tan-awon nato in a long-term situation, tanan aspects sa environment maapektuhan sa pamaagi sa conventional way of farming, maka-affect sa growth sa imong product and sa biodiversity (People nowadays want instant food so the higher its demand, other farms resort to inorganic farming but if you look at the long-term situation, all aspects of the environment are affected with the conventional way of farming, the growth of the product and the biodiversity)," Lagumen said.

The Binahon Agroforestry farm's products are however not available in the markets yet, but Lagumen said they are taking orders.

She said it is their family's version to compete globally.

"Ang challenge sa amoa karon nga naa sa organic farming is ang pagpa-paspas sa growth sa supply, dapat maka-keep up gyud mi sa production (Our challenge in organic farming is the speed in the growth of supply. We should keep up with the production)," she added.

DA said about 68 LGUs in Northern Mindanao have organic agriculture programs, with 16 municipalities in Bukidnon, three municipalities in Camiguin, 14 in Lanao Norte, 11 municipalities in Misamis Occidental and 24 in Misamis Oriental.

Also, there are about 2,684 recorded organic farmers producers in the region, 69 organic input manufacturer/organic food and non-food producers and 22 retail stores, supermarkets and restaurants has organic food products.

The region has 3,248 hectares of agriculture land dedicated to organic farming.

The local government with the best agricultural booth will be recognized through their booth presentation and design, bounty of agricultural products, staff performance, promptness, cleanliness and orderliness of booth activities and sales. (PJ Orias)
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