Push organic, conventional farming—group

Los Baños, Laguna—A published report by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture dealt on organic and inorganic farming which have been on the opposite ends of a polarizing issue in agriculture.

Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, Searca director, said the report bares the science and practice of organic and conventional agriculture and ways the two farming approaches might be integrated to achieve food security.

These were discussed by scientists and practitioners during a forum convened by the Coalition for Agriculture Modernization in the Philippines, Inc. in partnership with Searca, the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development, and the University of the Philippines Los Baños-Institute of Plant Breeding.

Dr. Emil Javier, a national scientist, said during the forum that with enlightened moderation on both sides, "we can enjoy the best of both worlds and make organic and inorganic farming work in the Philippine context."

The report comprises the full presentations and discussions on the science and practice of organic farming by Dr. Rodel Maghirang, UPLB-IPB director; experiences and advocacies of organic farming by Pablito Villegas who owns Villegas OrganiKs and Hobby Farm; science and practices of inorganic farming by Dr. Pearl Sanchez, UPLB Agricultural Systems Institute director; Scientific bases of integrated organic and inorganic farming in the Philippines by Dr. Eufemio Rasco Jr., Camp member and National Academy of Science and Technology academician; and enjoying the best of both worlds: mainstreaming organic practices in conventional agriculture by Javier who is also the Camp chair.

Dr. Gregorio said Camp advises a win-win strategy that integrates both organic and inorganic practices, depending on farmers’ ability and situation.

"This integration will assure complementarity while benefiting from the two systems, with soil organic matter enhancing the efficiency of nutrient use from chemical fertilizers," he said.

With the integration of good farming practices, Camp believes that there is a greater chance to improve and sustain soil productivity and high yields to meet the needs of the ever-growing population and provide for a cleaner environment.