Mindanao organic rice farmers signed a deal between U.S. market to supply organic rice, the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) reported.
Moreover, MinDA mentioned that Andrew Bolougne, head of the US group, told farmers to produce as much as they can and his team will market it.
Bolougne stated that the demand of black rice has been increasing due to its benefits relative to white rice.
“You cannot imagine how huge is the market demand for organic food today and we will cash in on that,” he added, promising that his group will commit to buy the produce at prices that will provide the farmers better income compared with traditional rice varieties,” Bolougne said.
Respectively, Mr. Bolougne’s group also facilitates in exporting green and mature coconut to the US market.
The deal between two countries involve marketing of White, Black, Red, and Brown rice.
“The agreement emerged from a forum MinDA organized in cooperation with Seedworks Philippines Inc. which was also attended by farmer groups in Mindanao,” report from Business World stated.
The said event was a result of the formation of the Mindanao Organic Rice Council. Database on rice organic farmers will be established as their farms will also be geotagged.
Apart from the Mindanao organic rice that will be market to US, Papua New Guinea delegation, headed by Central Province Gov. Robert Agrobe, has arrived to conduct inspection on the production areas for premium rice.
“Further, Rice Tariffication Law, which allows the entry of cheap foreign rice from more competitive rice producers in Southeast Asia, is a key challenge that the rice industry is facing,” report said.
“The organic rice industry cannot meet domestic demand,” The Don Bosco Multi-Purpose Cooperative in North Cotabato, one of the few groups in Mindanao selling organic rice reported.
The organic farmers enjoyed better income compared to growers of traditional rice because their crop has higher value, Maria Helenita Gamela, vice chair and marketing officer of the coo-op, said.
Gamela said that despite we have the market and the price of the organic rice is steady, we could not produce the needed volume.