The City Government of Tacurong, together with the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office XII (DA- RFO XII), and San Antonio Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SAFAMCO) launched the Organic Trading Post (OTP) project on July 8, 2015 in New Isabela, Tacurong City.
The OTP will serve as a venue for farmers to showcase and sell their organic products. Tacurong OTP is the first of its kind in the province of Sultan Kudarat. It is also one among the only five OTPs in Region XII.
According to City Agriculturist Ramon B. Losañes, the project is being implemented in accordance to Republic Act 10068 or the Organic Argriculture Act of 2010 with hopes to encourage and boost organic agriculture in the city.
In attendance during the launch-cum-turnover ceremony were Mayor Lina O. Montilla, who gave her message of support to the program; Dr. Lorna P. Vilbar, Regional Focal Person on Organic Agriculture; Nestor D. Casador, Provincial Agriculturist; Hon. Joselito L. Cajandig, Sr., SP Member and Chairperson, Committee of Agriculture; Marcon P. Gulle, SAFAMCO Chairman; and Jose S. Laygan, SAFAMCO Manager. City Agricultural Services personnel, SAFAMCO members, and other farmers also came to express support.
The trading post costs Php1.4 million. Of the said amount, Php1 million was spent for infrastructure while Php200 thousand was for equipment such as a freezer and a chiller. The remaining amount of Php200 thousand served as capital of SAFAMCO, the designated people’s organization (PO) to manage the OTP.
Currently, the trading post carries certified organic products from the surrounding provinces. These products include black rice, red rice, coffee, tea (malunggay, sambong, and tawa-tawa), honey, fruit juices, and charcoal, among others. Fresh organic produce from Tacurong farmers are also available. According to the Office for City Agricultural Services, Tacurong’s own certified organic products are in the works.
As per RA 10068, organic farming “will cumulatively condition and enrich the fertility of the soil, increase farm productivity; reduce pollution and destruction of the environment, prevent the depletion of natural resources, further protect the health of farmers, consumers and the general public.” (LGU-Tacurong City Information)