DA celebrates OA month, features R4D generated technologies

The Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) joined the DA, and other attached agencies and staff bureaus in the 9th Organic Agriculture (OA) month celebration, themed Kabuhayang OK, Kinabukasang OK, on 10 November 2023 at the Quezon Memorial Circle covered court, Quezon City.

As part of the celebration, a three-day OA technology demonstration, retail selling of organic and natural products, and distribution of information, education, and communication materials was held.

DA-BAR, in its booth, showcased research for development technologies such as organic soil amendments; and natural and instant fruit and vegetable juice powder, and native pig meat products developed by the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) and DA-CALABARZON, respectively. Relevant IEC materials produced by implementing agencies and the bureau were also disseminated to the interested visitors.

UPLB’s plant-based organic soil amendment showed promising results on improving the growth and performance of hot pepper and other organically-grown test crops in on-station and on-farm trials.

“When made commercially available to consumers, these products will significantly contribute to improve productivity of organic farms resulting in a more reliable year-round harvest of better-quality organic products that farmers can sell at better prices and with assured supply and quality,” discussed Dr. Blesilda M. Calub, UPLB project leader.

Meanwhile, DA-CALABARZON, through its Cavite Agricultural Research and Experiment Station and in partnership with Yakap at Halik Multi-Purpose Cooperative, a certified organic producer of fruits and vegetables in Cavite, developed a product that addresses wastage, short shelf life, and low profitability of organic produce by transforming it into an instant vegetable and fruit juice powder.

Another food product displayed in the DA-BAR booth were the meat products processed from organically grown native pigs. These products were developed through the collaboration of DA-CALABARZON and three farmer cooperatives and associations (FCA) in Batangas and Quezon.

By capacitating FCA members on meat processing technologies as well as maintaining a Food and Drug Administration-certified facility, the said FCA are now producing meat products such as pork tapa, longanisa, tocino, embutido, and sausage.

Malaki ang pasasalamat ko sa DA at BAR sa pag-anyaya sa amin na sumali sa exhibit. Sa isa’t kalahating araw pa lang, nakabenta na kami ng meat products na nagkakahalaga ng PhP 6,091 at maliban pa rito, napakaraming nagtatanong at naging interesado sa aming produkto,” shared Analiza A. Villarba, owner of First Nasugbu Natural Farmers and Irrigators Association, one of the three partner-FCA.

Pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 1030 series of 2015, OA month is celebrated every November to recognize the importance of organic agriculture and encourage its adoption as an effective tool for development, environmental conservation, and health protection of farmers, consumers, as well as the general public. (### Angelo N. Padura)