BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental has been recognized as outstanding province in this year’s Regional Organic Agriculture Achievers’ Awards of the Department of Agriculture in Western Visayas.
The province led the six Negrense recipients during the awards program that was graced by Agriculture assistant secretary Rene Famoso at the Casa Real in Iloilo City.
Provincial agriculturist Japhet Masculino on Wednesday lauded the winners for helping sustain the province’s organic agriculture development.
“Just keep on implementing organic farming for we still have a long way to go,” Masculino said.
Data from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist showed that at least 17,000 organic farming practitioners in the province plant various crops on 16,000 hectares of farmlands.
Victorias City was also named as outstanding city; Binalbagan-based farmer Jesus Antonio Orbida, outstanding small farmer in the individual category; Elpedio Dayuday, outstanding local government unit agricultural extension worker; Corazon Galon, outstanding provincial focal person; and Sag-ang and Coffee Growers Association of La Castellana, outstanding group.
“This award recognizes all our sacrifices and shows that we’re doing the right thing despite the odds,” said Orbida, who is also among the finalists in the same category for the National Organic Agriculture Achievers’ Awards (NOAAA) this coming November.
The organic agriculture achievers’ award recognizes organic agriculture development initiatives in the country.
Meanwhile, at the national level, members of the NOAAA’s national technical committee have already conducted the field validation for Orbida, who is one of the three finalists in the small farmer category this year. The team evaluated Orbida in his farm in Barangay Enclaro, Binalbagan town on Aug. 27.
Last year, Orbida was recognized by the provincial government of Negros Occidental for coconut and integrated farming during the 2nd Food Production Heroes Assembly.
His association, PeacePond Farmers Association, also bagged the 2018 Outstanding Farmer of the Philippines gold award for agriculture initiatives category. (With a report from PNA/PN)