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Philippines 6100
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Himamaylan City

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Organic Certification Presented at Techno Gabay Summit

“When consumers buy products that are certified organic, they get more value for their money and are protected against fake organic products,” Organic Guarantee Officer Robert Gasparillo told participants of the 1st Regional Techno Gabay Summit and TechnoMart at Amigo Plaza Hall in Iloilo City.

He said producers also benefit from organic certification because they could already sell their products at premium prices here and abroad.

Organic Certification Presented at Techno Gabay Summit
Organic Certification Presented at Techno Gabay Summit

TGP SUMMIT. Gasparillo of NICERT discusses organic product certification with TechnoMart participants. (vishia tolcidas/WESVARRDEC-RACG photo)

Organic product certification was presented as a tool in the commercialization of science-and-technology-based products during the TechnoMart that was attended by Magsasaka-Siyentista (farmer-scientists), members of colleges and universities, and representatives of the Farmers’ Information and Technology Services (FITS) Centers in Western Visayas.

Gasparillo of the Negros Island Organic Certification Services (NICERT) based in Bacolod City said certified-organic products enjoy brisk sales in Metro Manila and the USA, Europe, Canada, and Japan because they are healthy and chemical-free.

“The Organik Na Negros Market in Bacolod alone could not supply the high demand for organic-certified poultry eggs and chicken meat,” he said.

Prof. Joseph Edward Idemne, director of the Western Visayas Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (WESVARRDEC), disclosed that his office will push for the certification of Antique’s muscovado sugar this year.

Organic Certification Presented at Techno Gabay Summit

TECHNOMART. Hamungaya muscovado sugar of Antique will undergo organic certification this year. (niño manaog/WESVARRDEC-RACG photo)

Gasparillo said small farmers like the muscovado producers of Antique are a priority of NICERT.

“They could avail of funds under the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 wherein P900 million was allotted for the first two years of implementation,” he said.

From this fund, P115 million will support the installation of an internal control system for smallholder groups and P5 million will be spent for organic product certification, he added.

To date, NICERT has certified the products of 20 individuals, smallholder groups, and firms from Negros, Iloilo and Cebu. These products include fertilizers, vegetables, herbs, rootcrops, fruits, grains, coffee, sugarcane, meat and poultry, aquaculture, and processed foods.

Organic certification covers the whole production process based on documents and field visits, and is cost-efficient because it is partly subsidized by the Negros Occidental Provincial Government, Gasparillo said.
Like WESVARRDEC and the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (PCARRD-DOST), NICERT assists clients in the technology transfer and promotion of their certified products, he said.

Established in 2007, NICERT is an independent, third-party organic certification body that is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and is a member of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM).

NICERT is an offshoot of sustainable agriculture and rural development initiatives geared towards making Negros Island the “Organic Food Bowl of Asia”. (vishia tolcidas/WESVARRDEC Regional Applied Communications)