“Best Practices of Organic Farming and Production of Black Rice in Oton, Iloilo”

Other people see that farming is dealing with dirt, but to a farmer, it is dealing with life. But how really important farming is? If it is, how can we manage and be productive on farming when our world is now contaminated with different unwanted effects of destruction. Despite of this some people and expert seek solution for this problem. Soil biology scientists began in the late 1800s and early 1900’s to develop theories on how new advancements in biological science could be used in agriculture as a way to remedy these side effects, while still maintaining higher production. In Central Europe Rudolf Steiner, whose Lectures on Agriculture were published in 1925. Created biodynamic agriculture, an early version of what we now call organic agriculture. The system was based on Steiner’s philosophy of anthroposophy rather than on a solid grasp of science. This case, Organic Farming was discovered.

Organic farming is a form of agriculture that relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost and biological pest control. Organic farming uses fertilizers and pesticides but excludes or strictly limits the use of manufactured (synthetic) fertilizers, pesticides (which includeherbicides, insecticides and fungicides), plant growth regulators such as hormones, livestock antibiotics, food additives, genetically modified organisms,[1] human sewage sludge, and nanomaterials. Organic farming has been in practice for quite some time and many countries have now realized the positive effects of this. Organic farming has some definite plus points from whichever angle it is considered. As the population is increasing day by day and farmlands are giving way to real estate lands, it is imperative that people turn to organic farming more to satisfy the food demand. Considering from the consumer’s point of view, organic products are rich in nutrition content. As the soils where they are grown are free from the harmful effects of artificial fertilizers, the food is healthy and tasty. The main USP of organic products is that they are free from the negative effects of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. We have been fed with chemically grown foods for all of our lives and hence face so many diseases. Other than diseases, children also face problems in eyesight, hair fall and chronic stomach problems. Since organic crops are grown with manuring and through crop rotation, they thus do not require that much of an investment. As chemical free foods they are more resistant to rotting and formation of moulds. The result is that these can remain fresh over longer periods. Being grown organically, these are resistant to pests and so there is no loss of products. As the crops or vegetables are not provided with any sort of chemical fertilizer, they are thus tolerant to the thirst for water and can resist droughts. This means that they can be grown in parts where there is low rainfall. Conventionally grown crops are not that much resistant to water demands. Due to no usage of artificial fertilizers and pesticides, organic crops do not contribute to toxic emissions in water, soil and the atmosphere. It thus reduces pollution and helps Mother Earth. Due to prolonged usage of artificial chemicals the fertility of the soil in the long term decreases to a great extent. In organic farming, however there is absolutely no use of artificial substances and so the productivity of the soil increases. As a result, organic farming is beneficial to the environment.

Organic farming encourages farmers as it is cheaper and is also profitable to maintain.

Organic farming promotes bio-diversity as it helps thriving of beneficial animals and insects. It also helps in maintenance of a natural balance.

The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM) defines organic farming as a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved.Some of the agriculturist and scientist believe that organic farming is essential to our health, it gives lot of benefits to those people who eat products (vegetables, fruits or healing plants) of organic farming. Consumption of organic food helps lessen malnutrition. This may help as an answer to the first millennium development goals, eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. Another advantage of organic farm is, it is profitable and farmers prefer this because they achieve higher income with using this.

The Municipality of Oton in Iloilo is one of the towns that apply Organic farming. One of the elementary school, Tagbak Elementary School here in Oton frequently used organic farming. Year 2005 they started this project for the purpose of helping students especially those malnourished to become a productive, active and to improve their academic and non-academic skills. The garden farm is now filled with different kind of healing and unrefined plants. The elementary school was documented internationally, since they applied and implemented the organic farming. Private and public organizations give them a visit, even different schools and universities to make a research about them and organic farming.

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A field of black rice which is ready for cropping in a few more months

Presently, the Municipality of Oton (a first class municipality in the province of Iloilo) is implementing an ordinance (2011-231) that promotes Organic Farming that also helps them to produce black rice which makes the town known. They persuade the people to gather raw materials and biodegradable waste to produce organic fertilizer and production of black rice. The interest of the Department of Agriculture Region 6 has been caught by this implementation. It is really sustainable to the development, and to meet our demand, black rice is the main product of the farmers by using an organic farming. On the record, there were 7 farmers together with their municipal mayor, Vincent Flores. This was on the record of the municipal agriculture officer, Celsa Suarez.Image

‘Black Rice’ is actually more purplish in color than black; although when uncooked it is very dark in appearance. This type of rice is usually sold ‘un-milled’, with the husk intact. Up until modern times, Black Rice was not easy to come by; it had been highly treasured and protected in Asia for many centuries. It is also commonly used as a condiment, dressing, or as a decoration for different types of desserts in many countries around the world. High in nutritional value, black rice is rich in iron and high in fiber.

According to a study presented at 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), one spoonful black rice bran contains more anthocyanin antioxidants than a spoonful of blueberries and better yet, black rice offers more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants, and less sugar.

In the process, sooner or later, they will export the black rice and promote that this kind of rice is essentials and has lot of nutrients to intake as it is grown organic and without agrochemicals. This organic rice was called as the obama rice or forbidden rice according to history of this, but here in the Philippines, this is really nutritional kind of rice, there are different color of rice, which are the pink rice, violet rice, red rice, brown rice, etc. as the municipal of Oton produce the black rice, they sold it in their super market for forty five (P45) pesos per kilo, however it is sold as sixty (P60) to one hundred twenty (P120) pesos per kilo in other places or special stores. Image

Image    According to the one of the resident there in barangay Tagbac, Sur,( one of the barangays in municipality of Oton that produces a black rice a lot and where the elementary school located that has been visited for their organic farming), they already have cropping of black rice, however some of the land owner will have the cropping this coming August 31, 2013. During a walk to look for a rice fields, we have seen a building with a name outside of it as, Organic Warehouse. The Black rice is rarely seen in the market and some of the farmers who produce black rice are likely consume their product for their family.

Today, black rice is now promoted for its value and benefits, and also its advantage to the other variety of rice, even to the common rice we eat.

Go Organic! Philippines led by PRRM and the La Liga Policy Institute (LLPI) is currently taking the lead in implementing the OFSP. OFSP, which promotes organic farming in the Philippines is a partnership project with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM).

When black rice is used in desserts, it is sometimes cooked with a mixture of coconut milk, sugar, and water to form sweet, sticky and pudding-like rice in many Asian countries.

In the Bicol Region, specifically in the province of Albay, colored rice is used to cook traditional Filipino food or snacks such as puto, puto bungbong, bibingka, suman, and kalamay.

References:

Retrieved August 23, 2011 from http://www.iloilometropolitantimes.com/organic-farming/

Retrieved August 23, 2011 from http://www.iloilometropolitantimes.com/oton-farmers-boost-production-of-black-rice/

Retrieved August 23, 2011 from http://organic-foods-and-shops.blogspot.com

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