A FOREIGN organic farming advocate has lauded Negros Occidental’s vision of having an organic island.
Sam Society of Organic Movement chief executive officer Rei Yoon, who spoke at the opening rites of the 13th Negros Island Organic Farmers Festival at the Capitol grounds in Bacolod City Wednesday, November 28, said Negros has very huge potential in terms of organic agriculture.
It is mainly because of the strong support of the government here, Yoon said.
“Doing this kind of festival for 13 years is a very laudable thing for the government to do,” he said, adding “they saw the vision and I really hope that you can succeed in further developing organic farming here.”
Yoon is a Korean but his non-profit organization, which is based in Canada, is doing activities all over the world.
In the Philippines, their organization has conducted a total of 14 workshops already. Their projects in the country are mainly teaching and talking with people about organic farming.
Yoon pointed out that in organic farming, there should be a clear direction.
He stressed many people only think organic as an alternative to chemical agriculture and that they can make more money.
“Organic agriculture is not only about making money. First, it is about saving the environment, also producing safe and healthy food for the people, and reducing the cost of the farmers,” he added.
The foreign advocate also said that organic farming should be less costly. But nowadays, the practice is still expensive because all the inputs are expensive and farmers do not know how to make them.
Aside from being one of the guests during the opening rites, Yoon will also serve as speakers in various seminars during the four-day festival.
His talks will focus on natural farming, and teaching farmers to produce high yield and high quality with lower production cost.
Yoon said all the knowledge must belong to the farmers so they know what to do instead of buying from the commercial producers.
There is a very growing opportunity for organic especially because in China, for instance, many consumers are more aware of the importance of safe and clean food, he said.
Yoon said he is open to more partnerships with local government units and other groups here, adding that “I would love to work more with them as that is our advocacy.”