A MAYOR in Bohol used his P2-million award from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for good governance to finance organic food production for his constituents.

Maribojoc, Bohol Mayor Leoncio Evasco Jr., 71, said he wants to leave a legacy of clean food after realizing that most food in the market and food chains cause cancer and other illnesses.

Evasco briefed the Cebu media in his 4-hectare demonstration farm for aggressive organic farming, which he started more than two years ago.

The media tour on agricultural development was sponsored by the Department of Agriculture (DA) 7.

Evasco said the Maribojoc Municipal Government entered into lease contracts with landowners for their lands to be used for organic piggery, poultry, dairy cows, vermiculture and vegetable and ornamental farming.

He said the idea to go for organic farming started when some of his constituents requested him for free medicines because of their illnesses caused by eating food produced using chemicals.

Self-supporting

"If we follow the old system of raising chicken by feeding them once a day and leave them to be self-supporting for the rest of the day, it will take 10 to 11 months before we can castrate them for food. But today, it will only take 25 days to grow chicken using chemicals but which are also harmful to human life," Evasco said.

He said this is the reason they trained people to produce healthy food that grew into an economic activity that produces high profits.

Piglets

"We involve the people in our livelihood program. In the piglets distribution alone, one piglet will weigh 80 kilos in three months and a family that raised it will earn P3,000 for each piglet raised," Evasco said.

He said several prominent people in Bohol and Cebu have realized that eating organic food is healthy.

On the other hand, Joel Elumba, regional technical director for research and development of the Department of Agriculture (DA), said his agency’s projection of rice sufficiency by 2013 was not realized because of the recent calamities that hit the country.

Livestock

At present, the DA has five programs, such the production of rice, corn, livestock, high value crops and fertilizer, Elumba said.

He said that while there is only 70 percent rice sufficiency and 30 percent corn sufficiency in Central Visayas, the livestock industry has sufficiently met the meat demand in the region.