10 Davao villages to be feted for organic farming

A TOTAL of 10 barangays will be recognized by the Davao City Government this month for adapting organic farming in their "Gulayan sa Barangay."

Go Organic Davao City member and Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) inspector Alex Betarmos, during the I-Speak media forum held at the Davao City Engineer's Office conference room yesterday, said that as part of Organic Month celebration, they have evaluated barangays who are taking initiatives to practice organic farming.

"(These barangays are) Panacan, Tigatto, Cabantian, Mudiang, New Valencia - Tugbok, Talomo River, Tungkalan, Dumoy, Marilog, Cadalian," Betarmos said.

He said this recognition is a challenge for other barangays to be more effective.

Betarmos said the recognition does not mean that these barangays have implemented organic farming 100 percent.

"Nag-practice sila pero dili 100 percent mga 90 percent palang… Segun na sa among pag-evaluate dili one hundred percent pero gi-encourage namo sila (They practice organic farming but not 100 percent, only 90 percent, it is according to our evaluation but we encourage them),” he said.

Betarmos also said that their group, Go Organic Davao, and the city government are working hand in hand to support the program.

He said that Talomo River is among the barangays which has really practiced organic farming and the barangay which he wishes others will emulate.

Betarmos said they are slowly making progress convincing farmers to switch into organic farming and they also go to various areas in the city so that small-scale farmers can avail of PGS accreditation of their organic products.

Meanwhile, aside from the much-awaited awarding, Maxey Atog, vice president of the Davao Urban Farming Practitioners Association, urged the households to practice organic farming even in their small plots.

Atog said composting is the key to organic farming; it is just a matter of training the farmers.

He said he has proven that there is money in urban farming as he is currently harvesting 30 to 40 kilograms of lettuce per month from his 30-square meter land area. He said he further extends information drive on composting and organic farming to those who buy seeds from his stall every Thursday and Friday at Rizal Park.

During the media forum, Organic Month celebration activities were also announced including the PGS summit on November 20 to 24.

An exhibit of PGS accredited farms will be shown at the City Council Lobby on the same dates.
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