Apart from its health benefits, shifting to organic farming reduces farmers’ production cost and revives soil, Elias V. Sandig Jr., assistant department head of the Iloilo Provincial Agriculture Office said.
Producing vegetables organically do not entails the use of pesticides and artificial chemicals.
“Due to the decrease in organic matter, the capacity of our soil to hold water and fertilizer had been decreasing and as a result, the farmers have lower yields. Moreover, conventional fertilizer has been greatly affecting our soil by killing microbes and the earthworms,” Sandig explained in the report.
“Farmers in Iloilo shifted to organic farming with growers being gradually sold on the challenging method’s health benefits and potential for charging more for their produce,” reported by Business World.
Respectively, a 63-year-old doctor from Mandurriao, Iloilo City, Alfredo O. Gumatico, set up his small-scale nature-driven farm after visiting a farm in Jaro, Iloilo City.
“A decade after his shift to organic farming, Mr. Gumatico owns a five-hectare organic operation supplying lettuce, cabbage, and other organic vegetables to his network of doctors as well as restaurants in Iloilo City,” report stated.
He also raised native swine and chickens, ducks, and goats organically.
Like any other organic farming practitioners, Gumatico experienced failures due to bad weather. He pointed out his twenty-five native pigs which died because of bad weather. However, he didn’t give up until he obtained a pregnant native pig.
Also, this kind of farming preserved his health.
“It really helped me, particularly in look after my health. I am now 60 but I feel like I can still do so much more. If you want to stay healthy, you really need to change our lifestyle and I think through organic farming you will have the organic way and natural way of being healthy,” Gumatico imparted.
On the other hand, a 50-year old woman, Lily D. Salazar, a survivor of Yolanda, had also ventured to organic cultivation.
She has a stable income that is generated from producing and processing fresh oyster mushrooms organically.
Further, Salazar is a member of the Dumangas-Barotac Mushroom Growers and Processors Association.