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You are here: Home News Blog Mindanao News Blog NGO’s “Year of the Rice” campaign stirs farmers

NGO’s “Year of the Rice” campaign stirs farmers

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Digos City (July 31) — The “Year of the Rice” Campaign of the Pesticide Action Network of Asia and the Pacific (PANAP) launched April this year has become the bone of contention of farmers here. The said campaign is aimed at eliminating the use of pesticides in rice farms in Asia and the abolition of the [...]

Digos City (July 31) — The “Year of the Rice” Campaign of the Pesticide Action Network of Asia and the Pacific (PANAP) launched April this year has become the bone of contention of farmers here.

The said campaign is aimed at eliminating the use of pesticides in rice farms in Asia and the abolition of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) which PANAP Philippine representative Danilo Ramos accused of “turning Asia’s staple food into into monocrop corporate products filled with poisonous chemicals.

Ramos was quoted in a PANAP press statement July 21, 2009 as saying in a forum in Colombo that “IRRI’s policies, activities and technologies are undermining the safety of rice as food and exacerbating the poisoning of rice fields by their close collaboration with the pesticide industry.”

PANAP is the umbrella organization of the anti-pesticide movements in the Philippines and draws funding from the Netherlands-based Oxfam NOVIB.

Their campaign against the use of pesticide in rice farming elicited mixed reactions among farmers here.

Veron Magaway of Barangay San Agustin here says it is worth trying but that alternatives have yet to be developed.

Members of the Matanao Irrigation Association said that they find the campaign “too utopian to be realistic as it is impossible to control the wide variety of pests that threatens rice production.”

“Depriving plants of essential chemicals is like depriving people of essential medicines,” said the province’s “Model Farmer of the Year” Reinerio Guevarra.

Guevarra said he have been into rice farming the past 33 years and that he had developed his own techniques which include the timely use of herbicides, nematicides and fungicides. He produced a record-high of 319 metric tons for two croppings last year in his backyard one-hectare farm here. (pr/M Teruel)


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