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Trading Center for Organic Farmers to Rise in Nueva Vizcaya

27 February 2013

PHILIPPINES - Farmers producing organic products will soon have a trading center of their own with the proposed establishment of the Organic Farmers Trading Center (OFTC) in barangay Magsaysay in this town.

Located near the national highway and the Agriculture Research Training Center(ARTC), the project will serve as one-stop-shop among consumers patronizing organically – produced vegetables, poultry and pork.

Fidel Ballesteros, assistant provincial agriculturist said the P.5 million trading center will be constructed jointly between the Department of Agriculture(DA) and the provincial government who will also provide counterpart in the form of a lot.

"This project will serve as the major drop point for organically-produced vegetables, fruits and meat. In this way, the products of farmers will be further promoted and can be easily accessed by the patronizers," he said.

Mr Ballesteros said farmers practicing organic farming in the province are now gaining success and promotion with the exposure of their products and model farms through the monthly conduct of Farmers Market Day(FMD) in various municipalities supported by the local government untis concerned, Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement(PRRM), Japanese government and local non-government organizations.

In May last year, the Japanese government donated P21.3 million to boost the production of organic products by some 100 farmers in baPingkian and Tidang in Kayapa town, barangays Bacneng and Sinapaoan in Sta. Fe town, Macalong and Antutot in Kasibu town and barangays Canabay and Carolotan in Dupax del Sur town.

The fund will also be used in establishing new marketing channels other than middlemen; production of high profit vegetables and fruits using sustainable farming technologies; capacity building and knowledge development of producers in marketing of organic and reduced-chemical produce; involvement of local governments and partners in consolidation of the production environment; and dissemination of techniques and knowledge to other producers in the area.

The fund is part of Japan’s financial assistance through Japanese NGOs in the Philippines amounting to P204 million as of April 2012.

The fund was released under the Livelihood Improvement Project(LIP) for upland farmers by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through grant assistance for Japanese NGO projects.

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