SAN FABIAN, Pangasinan — Pangasinan Fourth District Rep. Christopher de Venecia believes that promoting organic farming is part of good governance.
Thus, he is encouraging farmers in Dagupan, Mangaldan, San Fabian, San Jacinto and Manaoag, Pangasinan to develop their farms, produce healthy foods and earn extra income by opening their fields to tourists who want to learn from them and appreciate their labor.
De Venecia appealed to farmers in these towns to plant not only traditional crops but also dragon fruits, cacao, ylang-ylang and soya beans to boost their incomes and help hasten the growth of agro-tourism.
He also said he wants to duplicate the efforts of Pangasinan Second District rep. Leopoldo Bataoil in encouraging and promoting the planting of ylang-ulang in Mangatarem and Aguilar for their extracts that can be made into expensive perfume.
To showcase organic farming, De Venecia led newsmen to a model farm in San Fabian planted with dragon fruits and in-between them were cacao plants which can be showcased to tourists.
“Right now, we are focusing on San Fabian and helping increase the organic yield because the amount of organic produce that we have today is still well below the line,” De Venecia told newsmen.
He also noted that there is also a big potential in organic farming in San Jacinto, Mangaldan and Manaoag.
Health-conscious people not only from Manila but also in the provinces are always looking for organic vegetables which can sell at from P300 to P400 per kilo, thus a big boost to the income of organic farmers.
In San Fabian, De Venecia is organizing organic farmers into an association and committed to send experts to their place to teach them not only in vermiculture and composting but also in preparing healthy foods for fowls, goats, cattle and carabaos.
Organic farming requires a change of mindset. And farmers who are into this must be willing to work harder, knowing that the products they would soon be raising and harvesting are of higher quality and good for the health, unlike the usual chemical farming, he said.
With organic farming, waiting will be longer than in farming using the usual chemical-based fertilizers but the result as shown in the production of healthier food will be definitely better.
Those joining the San Fabian Organic Farmers’ Association must produce their own fertilizers instead of buying fertilizers, De Venecia said.
He is now all set to put up a demo farm in San Fabian with the help of the Department of Agriculture to showcase organic farming and from where farmers can obtain seedlings to be planted by them in their farms.
“I think more than the value of organic farming is the health of the people. In organic, one can enrich the fertility of the soil instead of abusing it over and over again,” he added.
De Venecia also encourages crop rotation and wants farmers to discard their old mentality of planting certain crops just because these are what their neighbors had also planted. Leonardo V. Micua/PNA-northboundasia.com