Feb 20, 2007

Cordillera: Going Organic

As part of efforts to promote organic agriculture, Benguet State University is developing educational programs to help farmers engage in organic food production.

Below is an article published by Sun Star:

The country's first university to go organic -- Benguet State University (BSU) -- is moving towards becoming a certifying institution for organically grown products in Cordillera.

BSU president Rogelio Colting has laid down some strategies that could be adopted by farmers who engage in organic agriculture and for them to become certified organic producers, at least at the university level.

The university played host to the Cordillera Organic Congress (COC) last year and this year.

The high cost of obtaining certification from the national level is among the factors that discourage farmers from pursuing organic farming. Organic farming involves the non-use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in growing agricultural crops.

Among BSU's approaches towards organic certification includes the development of organic farming standards for specific vegetables. This will be called the BSU organic farming standards.

The strategy will be disseminated to farmers who are intending to apply for (organic) certification.

The Cordillera Regional Development Council (CRDC) last year approved a resolution promoting organic agriculture in the region and declared BSU as an organic university.

The BSU has included organic agriculture as a regular program of the university and intends to develop and offer degree and non-degree courses on organic farming. It also intends to generate technologies needed for the organic agriculture industry and to develop a market for organically produced products.