By end of 2013, Ilocos Norte’s 50% farmlands will turn organic

LAOAG CITY, Feb. 13  – Provincial Agriculturist Norma Lagmay reported that Ilocos Norte is taking big stride in promoting organic farming in the province as an answer to the alarming effects of climate change.

Lagmay said that last month the province has unveiled a vermicomposting demo-farm in Brgy. Camandingan, Batac City.

This vermicomposting demo-farm, she said, is considered the mother of organic fertilizer production in the province and jointly funded by Korean International Cooperation Agency, the provincial government and Batac City government.

On the part of the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO), it has distributed 47 shredding machines to various farmer groups to be used in shredding bio-degradable materials needed in making organic fertilizers.

She also revealed the immediate plan to coordinate with town and city mayors for the creation of a systematic scheme in gathering waste materials from their respective public markets.

Lagmay said, “all of these are in line with the province’s campaign to convert at least 50 percent of Ilocos Norte’s farmlands as organic-based by the end of 2013.”

“With the impending condition on the horizon, farmers have to adopt alternative farming methods to improve dried up farmlands such as using organic fertilizers,” Lagmay disclosed.

“The fertilizer’s organic content will help in holding the soil’s moisture,” she added.

The demo farm serves as training ground for farmers in production and application of organic fertilizers saying that the province would have to need at least 59,000 bags of organic fertilizers to reach its goal of converting Ilocos Norte’s farmlands to organic. (Theo S. Guiang with report from Ariel Paolo Tejada/PIA)