Tour To Visit Organic Farm

MANILA, Philippines - More and more people are getting interested in organic farming. And that is the reason why tours of organic farms are getting more frequent. On Sunday, April 29, AANI will again be leading a group that will visit the Kota Verde Farm Resort, an organic farm in Alfonso, Cavite operated by Freddie Pascua.

Earlier, AANI had also brought two batches of farm-tourists to the organic farm of Ronald and Josie Costales in Brgy. Gagalot, Majayjay, Laguna. As can be noted from the number of people joining such trips, there is an increasing keen interest in learning the basics of organic agriculture.

Those who will be joining the visit to Alfonso will be able to observe how Pascua is growing vegetables, farm animals and fish the organic way. He has planted a big portion of his farm to leafy greens like different varieties of lettuce that come in various colors, mustard, bush sitao, broccoli and others.

To make it more convenient to water the plants, a drip irrigation system has been installed in the plots. This way, the water containing the organic fertilizer is delivered to the base of the plants drop by drop. It is not only economical and convenient, it is also effective.

Pascua is also growing ducks for the production of organic eggs that are made into salted eggs. He has a flock of 800 layers which give him a substantial number of eggs every day. The salted duck eggs sell for P7 to P10 apiece, depending on the size. The big ones are sold at P10 apiece ex-farm.

Freddie Pascua also grows free-range chickens. He is raising the Grimaud breed being distributed by Dr. Erwin Cruz. Free-range chickens are also in demand by health-conscious people who are avoiding meat produced with antibiotics.

Those interested to join the farm tour should go to reserve at the AANI weekend market at the St. Vincent Seminary on Tandang Sora, Quezon City.

ORGANIC LECHON IN DAGUPAN - Speaking of organic livestock, Mayor Benjamin Lim of Dagupan City is spearheading the production of naturally-farmed pigs.

In fact, last Tuesday (April 24) the First Dagupan's Best Lechon Challenge was held at the city plaza. In this event, the lechoneros competed for prizes in roasting 30-kilo pigs.

A total of 30 pigs grown the organic way were roasted for the occasion. Mayor Lim dispersed the piglets to growers, providing them with the feeds as well. One of the recipients of 10 piglets for making into lechon is Kagawad Virgilio Aquino of Brgy. Salisay, Dagupan City. Aquino received P37,000 worth of piglets and feeds as a test-run for a more extensive project that will be undertaken by the city government.

After taking care of the piglets for about one-and-a-half months, the piglets are ready for disposal for making lechon. Usually, the 10 piglets when disposed at 30 kilos each after taking care of them for 1.5 months will sell at about P42,000. That would mean P5,000 gross profit for the raiser from 10 piglets.

The idea of Mayor Lim is to popularize organic lechon in Dagupan which could attract gourmet tourists to visit the city. That could go hand in hand with the famous Bonuan bangus which is considered the most tasty bangus in the country.

Helping push the production of organic pigs in Dagupan is FeedPro which produces commercial feed sans antibiotics. Dr. Jun Cahusay, a veterinarian of FeedPro, is helping provide the technical expertise in producing the organic pigs.

Aside from pigs for lechon, producing naturally-farmed pork for the market is another project. And since the mayor owns a chain of supermarkets, these could be the initial outlets for the organic pork while production is still limited.

Another possibility is for the production of organic bangus. A limited number of fish cages will be allowed to be established in the rivers in Dagupan. Only 26 hectares of the 469 hectares of river area will be allocated to fish cage production to avoid pollution of the rivers.

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