• Bataan opens first organic trading center

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    BALANGA CITY: The city government here launched its “Go Organic Farming” program with the formal opening of Bataan’s first organic trading center.

    The Department of Agriculture (DA) in Region 3 financed the construction of P1.3 million trading center equipped with refrigerators, chillers and vacuum pack sealer, while a seed capital worth P200,000 was released to Kaanib, a group of organic farmers from Barangay Cataning.

    “Ang paggamit ng kemikal ay hindi lamang masama sa katawan ng tao kundi maging sa kalikasan [The use of chemical is not only harmful to the body but also to nature],” said Vice Mayor Noel Valdecanas.

    To ensure continuous supply of organic vegetables to the trading center, Mayor Jose Enrique Garcia III required all 25 barangays to apply organic farming methods.

    The city has also established two areas where cityhall workers themselves can cultivate the vegetable farm.

    City agriculturist Nerissa Mateo said a one-hectare farm was funded for P300,000. With Kaanib cultivating three hectares, Balanga now has four hectares of land principally devoted to organic farming.

    Mateo said the mayor does not want chemical fertilizers and pesticides to be used in the four hectare-farm and barangay vegetable gardens

    “We are hoping that more farmers will go into organic farming,” Mateo said.

    Currently on sale at the trading post are papaya, calamansi, sagingsaba, string beans, eggplant, tomatoes, okra, kangkong, seedlings and organic pork meat. Organic rice and other vegetables and fruits will be sold soon.

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