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Sustainable Agriculture in Maribojoc, Bohol
« on: June 22, 2009, 10:34:18 PM »
      Struggling as just a slim group of six barangays pursuing the cause on organic farming, the farmers’ group known as Casabut-OFS even expanded to the entire town of Maribojoc.

      Under the leadership of Pancrasio Villorejo as president and Jose Cyril Lobregas as vice president, Casabut-OFS has intensified its campaign and promotion of organic agriculture.

      As chair of the Municipal Agriculture and Fisheries Council, Lobregas catered an edge for the group to intensify its campaign on sustainable agriculture.

      Casabut-OFS is an organization of farmers practicing organic agriculture in barangays Cabawan, Aligway, San Roque, Agahay, Busao and Toril- - the major rice-producing barangays in the municipality of Maribojoc.

      Casabut stands for the combination of the names of these barangays and OFS stands for Organic Farming System which the farmer-members of the organization had adopted for more than two decades already.

      In fact, Maribojoc Mayor Leoncio Evasco Jr. has earlier expressed pride on the organization’s exemplary performance in promoting organic agriculture and encouraged them to advance their cause to “Go organic”.

      During the organization’s year-end assembly and presentation of annual accomplishment in December last year, Evasco had assured the group of the municipal government’s commitment to support the organic agriculture initiative in the town and vowed to get rid of inorganic farm inputs.

      Recently, Lobregas was elected president of the Bohol Organic Farmers’ Alliance that was organized in April 2009.     

      San Roque Barangay Captain Florencio Gentallan started the organic farming system way back in the 1980s.

      Gentallan also chairs the San Roque Multi-Purpose Cooperative which was later renamed as San Roque Small Coconut Farmers Cooperative.

      Even then, Getallan already pondered on the negative and destructive effects of using synthetic farm inputs that he thought could cause soil degradation that might leave his children with nothing of good land to till, and he wouldn’t want to be blamed.

      That became the turning point of Getallan’s point of view, urging him to start cultivating his farm without using inorganic inputs.

      He gathered bio-degradable materials in his farm and made them into a compost pit. He scattered rice straw on the rice field as fertilizer, instead of burning them.

      For the next farming seasons, he used organic materials from decaying plants or from compost pit.

      Gradually, with Getallan serving as example, the other barangay folks followed suit, convinced of the evident beneficial effects of his farming method coupled with personal and meticulous recording of farm inputs and processes.

      He became the father of a rice variety, “kasedob”, which can no longer be traced from its parent-stock.

      The year 2003 had put the organic farming initiatives of the six barangays into the limelight when the Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Training Institute of Region 7 based in Tagbilaran City came in and started a pilot project on “Total Quality Production Management”.

      It was a collaborative effort between DA-ATI Region VII, MLGU-Maribojoc and the people’s organization which focused on enhancement of rice-based farm production.

      As an off-shoot to this program, Casabut-OFS was finally organized with its option to “Go organic”.

      The newly-formed organization started with 11 members who were both advocates and practitioners of organic agriculture. - Sunday Post

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