By Philippines News Agency
Bacolod City — The Department of Agriculture (DA) is aiming to increase organic agriculture areas in Negros Island Region (NIR) by 10 percent this year.
This was underscored in the two-day First Negros Island Regional Organic Agriculture Congress (ROAC) at the Capitol Social Hall in this city, which ended Friday.
DA-NIR Regional Director Joyce Wendam said that through the assembly, the agency intends to increase awareness on the efforts to expand organic farming areas in Negros.
Figures indicated that Negros Occidental has about 16,000 hectares of agricultural lands devoted to organic farming, with almost 17,000 organic adaptors.
With the goal this year to expand the area by at least 10 percent, Negros Occidental is expected to reach at least 17,600 hectares.
Still, the target area is less than 2,400 hectares of the mandated 20,000 hectares devoted to organic farming in the province, which is five percent of almost 400,000 hectares.
The five percent is provided under the Republic Act 10060, or the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010.
Meanwhile, as part of the ROAC, the DA-NIR honored farmers, workers, and local government units (LGUs) during the 2017 Regional Organic Agriculture Awards.
The awardees included Victorias City as Outstanding Organic City; Leni Lacuesta of Victorias City – Outstanding Organic Municipal Focal Person; Ma. Neca de la Cruz of San Carlos City – Outstanding Organic Agricultural Extension Worker; Rodrigo Sumugat and Family of Victorias City – Outstanding Organic Farming Family; Jerry Dionson of Bago City – Outstanding Organic Farmer (Individual); and Sag-ang Organic Coffee Producers Association – Outstanding Organic Farmers (Group).
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