Farmers proudly harvest the organic tomatoes their family has produced.
Photo: © B.Calub

24.08.2012

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Initiated by non-governmental organisations and private citizens in the mid 1980s, organic agriculture is still in its infancy in the Philippines. Today, the government is providing the means towards a globally competitive yet sustainable organic industry. In this context, the Organic Agriculture Program of the University of the Philippines Los Baños supports vegetable production by smallholder farmers.

“This patch of vegetables is for our home consumption, so I don’t use pesticides here. That bigger vegetable area is for selling ... of course I use pesticides and fertilisers to ensure good harvests and income.”

 

A common response from a conventional vegetable farmer.

Greater consumer awareness of human health and environmental hazards caused by the indiscriminate use of pesticides and fertilisers has increased the demand for safe organically produced food in the Philippines. In response, the private sector, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), government agencies, local government units and people’s organisations have engaged in various activities geared towards organic farming.

The University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) initiated its Organic Agriculture Program in 2007. It focuses on spreading organic vegetable production among smallholder farmers not only as a technology but also as “farming with a conscience”, an alternative way of life that includes personal and social responsibility.

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