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Philippines: Dept of Ag building organic seed storage depots in Calabarzon provinces

The Department of Agriculture in Calabarzon (DA-4A) is building more seed storage facilities in the region to strengthen food security and to promote organic farming among local agriculture sector stakeholders.

Elizabeth Gregorio, Regional Organic Program Coordinator of DA-4A, said on Monday the department targets to build at least one organic seed storage facility in each province by 2026, following the launch of the first facility earlier this month.

She said an initial facility, which was built in Quezon province, was commissioned and turned over to the Quezon Agricultural Research and Experiment Station (QARES) on May 2.

"This will greatly help in boosting the production of organic products, especially rice, corn, and vegetables. Compared to conventional farming, the production in organic farming is not as high, but the main goal of the project is to be able to produce and have a continuous supply of organic seeds for farmers in the area and neighboring areas," Gregorio told the Philippine News Agency.

She said another seed storage facility is in the works in Rizal province.

The new facility will be built this year at the Rizal Agricultural Research and Experiment Station in Tanay, Cuyambay, Rizal.

DA-4A is partnering with the Institute of Plant Breeding, the authorized plant breeder of the University of the Philippines Los Baῆos, Laguna for the region's sustainable Seed System Production.

"They are the ones who have the most knowledge to share with those assigned to the facility, they will start with breeding and then we will reproduce, process and store open pollinated varieties seeds from the production area to the facility so that they are always available to organic farmers. And we can also have the Bureau of Plant Industry in Los Baῆos and IIRR in Silang, Cavite as collaborators," Gregorio said.

In preparation for the new facility, she said an Organic Agriculture Orientation and Training event will be held on May 14 in Pililla, Rizal.

She said organic farming produces nutritious and safe food and helps maintain the soil's natural nutrients while also sustaining the balance of biodiversity.

Gregorio is urging more farmers to plant organically and encourages them to start using organic fertilizers such as animal waste, compost, vermicast/vermicompost, concoctions or organic foliar fertilizers, among others.

She also suggests using manual weeding and organic pesticides as the rainy season is expected to cause the arrival of insects and pests.


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