More funds needed for organic agri research

More funds should be allocated for research on organic agriculture, according to the chairman of a local farmers’ organization.
JobyArandela, chairman of Zarraga Integrated Diversified Organic Farmers Association (ZIDOFA), said the government should provide more funds to strengthen and widen studies on organic farming and that priority should be placed in shifting more research on agro-ecological methods of farming.

He stated that the Department of Agriculture in Region 6 has been first to initiate such a shift in research resources with the recent allotment of funds for studies on the Organic System of Rice Intensification (SRI) both at the Western Visayas Integrated Agricultural Research Center and its satellite Research Outreach Station in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo.

Arandela is hopeful that this is a good sign of things to come and that the agriculture department places more priority on research of sustainable regenerative agricultural practices and not just focus on the conventional industrial and chemical-based protocols.
“To better promote organic farming, farmer support should not end with training or with the giving of seeds and organic fertilizers. There should be a holistic approach which covers the monitoring of farmers organic cultivation to help troubleshoot any problems and at the same time to ensure that farmers abide by the organic protocols taught to them to ensure the organic integrity of their crops,” he said.

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