BPI conducts National Trainors’ Training on Organic Seed Production
The Bureau of Plant Industry conducted a 5-day training on organic seed production at its national crop center in the Visayas, the La Granja National Crop Research, Development and Production Support Center (LGNCRDPSC), La Carlota City, Negros Occidental from September 18-22, 2017. The 68 participants came from the different regions of the country who are either focal persons of the DA Organic Agriculture or farmers engaged in organic farming. The training aimed to enhance skills of participants on the research-based technologies developed by BPI on organic seed production.
During the opening program, BPI La Granja Center Chief Ms. Milagros B. Abaquita warmly welcomed the participants and gave a brief presentation about BPI La Granja. BPI Senior Technical Adviser Dr. Gilbert F. Layese discussed the updates on Philippine National Standard for Organic Agriculture as well as the Importance of Food Standards in ASEAN Community and the Trophobiosis theory. Ms. Jenny Lyn Añana of the Crop Research and Production Support Division presented the role of BPI in the Implementation of the Organic Agriculture Program. On the other hand, BPI La Granja technical staff, namely: Doris Paz I. Discaya, Jennifer L. Ferrer, Josephine C. Pilar and Nancy B. Villanueva gave lectures on organic seed production of corn, field legumes and vegetables. Mr. Leo Sta. Ines of PhilRice Negros Station shared the organic rice seed production technologies. It was a day of lively discussion and interaction as most of the participants also shared their experie nces on organic production.
Apart from lectures and open-forum on organic seed production, the participants had hands-on field exposure on organic fertilizer application, planting of corn, soybean and peanut, as well as application of biocontrol agents like Trichogramma and assassin bugs on standing crop including the postharvest processing of soybean. A lecture cum demo on the production of Naturally-Fermented Solutions and Biocontrol agents was likewise conducted.
To further appreciate the importance of organic agriculture, the participants had a farm visit to two certified organic farms in Negros Occidental. At the organic farm of Herbanext Laboratories in Bago City, Mr. Philip Cruz gave a very informative briefing about herbs and medicinal plants. Serpentina, turmeric, balbas-pusa, goto kola, guava, oregano and stevia are some of the plants he mentioned that have very good medicinal properties.
At Buro Buro Springs Vermi Farm, Mrs. Pamela Henares stated that one of their objectives is to help small farmers become empowered in organic agriculture. She emphasized the importance of health and wellness of both humans and soil. She also shared that one of the reasons why they got into organic farming was because of their observation on high incidence of cancer in Negros during the 1990’s. For her, there must be something that has to be done to curb the incidence. The participants had a tour at some areas of the organic farm including the vermicomposting facility.
The participants expressed their gratitude to BPI and BPI-La Granja in particular for the conduct of training; the resource persons for imparting their knowledge and field experiences and the hospitability of BPI-La Granja employees. Aside from their certificates, the participants were also given starter organic seeds of corn, field legumes and vegetables produced by BPI-La Granja.
In closing, Dr. Layese said that the participants are now the lamp lighters and organic agriculture is the lamp.