Advocates of agro-ecological development called for more sustainable agricultural practices yesterday during the International Earth Day activity at Rizal Park.
“We conducted this activity to sustain the level of environmental awareness in the city, with the collaborative effort of the local government unit, the farmers, the consumers, and the general public,” Geonathan Barro, executive director of Agro Eco Philippines, told reporters.
As part of the activities yesterday, about 50 farmers from Malabog District displayed organic agriculture products at the Rizal Park. Yesterday’s activity carried the theme, “Protect our Seeds, Defend Life, Nurture our Environment.”
The group centered this year’s celebration on the protection of farmers’ rights, especially with the seeds.
“It is a sad note that seeds are no longer accessible to farmers because they are already very expensive,” Barro said.
The Agro Eco Philippines also noted that the green revolution promotes non-sustainable farming methods such as the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified crops.
“With this, we want to promote organic farming and the access to seeds, especially among poor farmers to create a sustainable future to the people here,” he said.
Barro said that with the 70% of economic activities related to farming, there is a great need to advance sustainable agricultural methods to benefit both the producers and consumers.
“Our challenge is in finding agricultural practices that will not deplete our environment. The answer to this is organic farming,” Barro said.
To help other farmers in the city, the group eyes to put up a store that will sell organic produce from various areas in the city.
“Organic products are in demand right now so we plan that by June, we will be able to open a people’s advocacy store that will sell organic products from our farmers in the hinterlands so that consumers will no longer have to wait for the Earth Day to buy inexpensive organic goods,” Barro said.