De Venecia urges farmers to shift to organic farming

FOURTH District Rep. Christopher de Venecia called on all farmers in the district to begin shifting to organic farming.

He said organic farming is far better than the use of chemical-based fertilizers and pesticides which are harmful both to the consumers and to the soil, making them toxic and less fertile in the long run.

He made the call in a dialogue with members of the San Fabian Agri-preneurs Association in Barangay Lipit Tomeeng led by Barangay Chairman Jacobo Disu at the farm house of Mrs. Rosemary Glenn, a U.S. citizen who returned to her native San Fabian to farm.

He said he will soon bring experts to San Fabian to teach vermiculture to farmers so that they can learn to produce their own organic fertilizer.

Organic farming is an advocacy of Glenn, owner of the first pittaya (dragon fruit) plantation using organic fertilizer in both barangays Bigbiga and Lipit Tomeeng in San Fabian.

According to De Venecia, Glenn wants to share the learnings from her farm with farmers in the town and in the fourth district.

In-between the pittaya plants are cacao which Glenn said are good anti-oxidant which is good for the body, also fertilized by composted leaves.

She also raises organic chicken and goats and produces home-made feeds for them.

She sells the fruits of her pittaya plants to a supermarket in Manila that prefers buying her fruits more than those produced in other places, since her produce are juicer and sweeter because she only used organic fertilizers.

“I’d be too happy to share my experience in organic farming to my fellow farmers,” said Glenn as she lauded De Venecia for his passion for farming like his parents although they are a political family.

Admitting his mother Gina did not breastfeed him when he was a baby which explains why he is sickly up to this time, De Venecia said he wants to shift to organic food to ensure healthier foods for Filipinos.

Meanwhile, De Venecia said the proposed a seed nursery in Barangay Bigbiga to be maintained and developed by the San Fabian Agri-preneurs Association into a modern farm to showcase modern farm practices to fellow farmers and students.

De Venecia said farmers should not rely only on their incomes from their products, but should try to take on the benefits that would be derived from farm tourism if their farm can become a demonstration farm.

NIkka Rivera, a member of De Venecia’s staff, cited the Sun Flower Maze in Tayug that earned an instant fame nationwide when it was visited by tourists. (Leonardo Micua)