ArchivesNovember 2010NISARD teams with FU for organic farming

NISARD teams with FU for organic farming

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Organic farming initiatives in Negros Oriental received a big boost with the signing of a partnership agreement by Foundation University and the Negros Island Sustainable Agriculture for Rural Development (NISARD) recently.{{more}}

The partnership was formalized during the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between the two organizations last Nov. 19 at the Palm Court of the FU main campus.

Signing the agreement were Dr. Mira Sinco for Foundation University and Diodoro Olasiman, Nisard vice-president and managing trustee for Negros Oriental.

Signing as witnesses were Rep. George Arnaiz and Provincial Agriculturist Greg Paltinca. Mr. William Abay, NISARD administrator, was also on hand to witness the occasion and give a short speech.

Under the terms of the agreement, the NISARD will provide technical support to the organic farming initiatives of Foundation University and in return, the University will make available its farm in Tanjay City for experiments on organic farming.

It can be recalled that the Rep. George Arnaiz, then as governor of Negros Oriental, was a signatory to the document, along with then Negros Occidental Gov. Joseph Maranon and President Gloria M. Arroyo, creating the NISARD in 2004.

Negros Oriental, Arnaiz recalled, had been experimenting on organic agriculture in 2001. Now, we are happy to note that Foundation University is also into organic farming and that we have struck a partnership with the first university to go into organic farming, Arnaiz added.

Foundation University, on the other hand, traces the beginnings of its organic farming methods to the year 2002, when the University of the Philippines at Los Banos gave then FU President Leandro Sinco 12 worms as his prize for being selected as an outstanding UPLB alumnus, which he used to make compost fertilizer in the University’s farms in Amlan and Tanjay City.

Now, the worms have multiplied thousands of times over and the University makes its own compost fertilizer for its own use.

“Our farms are the first in Central Visayas that can be considered as 100 percent organically operated,” Dr. Sinco said.

But, Sinco noted, doing organic farming back then was like dancing by one’s self. “We always felt the the need for someone to share our advocacy, someone who could share our pursuit of something that is good in the field of agriculture,” she said.

Sinco also reminded everyone that organic farming should be done in support of the Millennium Development goals of food sustainability and the eradication of hunger and poverty.

“Foundation University for the past four years has proposed a radical view that the key to rice and food sustainability is not efficient production but the creation of a culture of conservation,” she said.

After the MOA signing, Rep. Arnaiz inspected the Bio Mechanical Goat (BMG)project of FU. BMGs are garbage digesters that dramatically shorten the decomposition time of organic waste into compost in a mere 21 days.

Arnaiz was impressed with the simple technology that the University adopted from Engr. Tito Nemenzo, the original designer, and ordered the mass production of BMGs for distribution to urban areas in his district.

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