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Composting facilities to boost sustainable agriculture

By Loraine D. Cerillo - Project Development Officer II
February 09, 2016

The Department of Agriculture - Bureau of Soils and Water Management in collaboration with the Villar Sipag Foundation recently awarded 17 units of Composting Facilities for Bio-Degradable Wastes (CFBW) in Central Luzon to promote the use of organic inputs and bio-fertilizers in the production of the country’s staple food and high value crops. The awarding ceremony was attended by 350 participants composed of Government Units (LGUs), officials from the National Organic Agriculture Program Management Office, concerned government offices and Farmer Groups held at Hotel Stotsenberg in Clark, Pampanga.

It was September last year when the BSWM collaborated with the Villar SIPAG Foundation to orient LGU recipients on CFBW. According to the report given by the Executive Director of the BSWM and National Coordinator of the Organic Agriculture Program Silvino Tejada, out of 83 units of CFBW to be delivered, 55 units of community-based composting facilities were already established in Cordillera Province, Ilocos Region, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern and Central Mindanao. Other remaining 28 units will be completely delivered within the month of February 2016.

Moreover, the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food Chairperson Sen. Cynthia Villar said that organic farming is one way of promoting sustainable agriculture wherein farmers get to produce their own fertilizers with the use of available biodegradable farm inputs such as market wastes.

"Ito po ang tinatawag nating sustainable agriculture at agro-ecology, kung saan hindi niyo na bibilhin ang inyong gagamiting fertilizer, kung hindi ay kayo na mismo ang nagpo-produce on your own. And this is what we are promoting, sustainable agriculture, through the establishment of these facilities in your community wherein you can produce 1 or 2 tons of organic fertilizer a month."

Considering that large amount of biodegradable wastes are coming from markets and residences, there is a need to set-up facilities near markets, trading posts and residential areas that will convert those wastes into organic fertilizers/compost which could be used by farmers.

It was in 2000 when the Philippine Ecological Solid Waste Management Act was enacted and through this law, the use of environmentally-sound methods was put in place as a state policy to minimize the utilization of valuable resources and promote resource conservation and recovery where LGUs are deemed responsible for the implementation of the law.

According to the Municipal Agriculturist Officer (MAO) of Orani, Bataan, Mr. Arturo Matias, more than 800 farmers will benefit in the establishment of the composting facilities in their municipality and the use of the organic inputs will push for a healthier crop production with lesser expense from the farmers.

Furthermore, the municipal-wide utilization of the CFBW through a centralized monitoring of the LGUs under the supervision of the DA-BSWM, will assist rural farming and urban communities to improve garbage disposal via proper segregation of wastes and promote sustainable agriculture while producing safer food.

"This is a continuing activity of BSWM and DA-RFOs to strengthen the institutional capacity of LGUs, Farmers' Organizations and all stakeholders to promote and promulgate organic agriculture throughout the country." Tejada added.

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