Organic Farming in Philippines

Published
, 8 minute read

Quick summary: Discover the evolution and impact of organic farming in the Philippines. Explore the growing trend towards sustainable agriculture practices and their multifaceted benefits for health, environment, and economy in our insightful blog on organic farming in the Philippines.

Ready to dive deeper into regenerative agriculture?

Download our free eBook now and discover how to transform your farming practices for a sustainable future!

Organic farming in Philippines has witnessed a significant evolution, with both farmers and consumers embracing its principles in recent years. This sustainable agricultural practice is gaining traction due to its diverse advantages, which extend beyond human health to include environmental conservation and economic prosperity. 

While it falls within the realm of sustainable agriculture, organic farming is not merely a subset. In contrast to conventional farming, this approach is still in its nascent stage and has experienced consistent growth of 10% to 20% annually since 2000, as reported by the USDA. 

Key Takeaways 

  • Understanding Organic Farming 
  • Roots of Organic farming in Philippines 
  • Key Organic Practices 
  • Challenges faced by Organic Farmers 
  • TraceX Farm Management Solutions 

Understanding Organic Farming 

Organic farming stands as a testament to the evolving ethos of sustainable agriculture, embodying a holistic and regenerative approach that deviates from the conventional use of synthetic chemicals and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Rooted in traditional farming techniques, this method transcends mere cultivation; it is a philosophy that embraces the interconnected vitality of the soil, plants, animals, and consumers. 

At the heart of organic farming lies a commitment to eschew synthetic chemicals, recognizing the potential harm they can inflict on the environment and human health. Instead, farmers employ time-honoured practices that tap into the inherent balance of nature. Crop rotation is a key facet of this approach, a strategic dance that mitigates soil degradation and minimizes the risk of pests and diseases. Alternating crops not only preserves soil fertility but also underscores a profound understanding of ecosystems, fostering a resilient and biodiverse agricultural landscape. 

Crucially, organic farming relies on natural fertilizers to nurture the soil and cultivate crops. Composting emerges as a fundamental practice, where organic matter such as kitchen scraps, crop residues, and animal manure undergoes a transformative process, giving rise to nutrient-rich compost. This symbiotic relationship between decomposed organic material and the soil forms the bedrock of a nourishing environment for plant growth. 

The ethos of organic farming extends beyond the soil to encompass a harmonious relationship with the surrounding ecosystem. Natural pest control mechanisms, such as introducing beneficial insects and practicing companion planting, exemplify the coexistence and synergy inherent in this agricultural paradigm. By sidestepping chemical pesticides, organic farming not only protects crops but also safeguards the delicate balance of the broader ecological system. 

Discover the crucial connection between organic farming practices and the well-being of our essential pollinators 

Learn how organic agriculture fosters a healthier environment for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, and why supporting organic practices is crucial for their survival.

The Roots of Organic Farming in Philippines 

In a survey conducted by Rakuten Insight, 32% of Filipinos said that they “sometimes buy organic food products.” This survey also revealed that people tend to buy organic because they perceive it to be healthier than non-organic foods.  

The Philippines boasts a rich agricultural heritage deeply ingrained in practices that have sustained communities for generations. However, the advent of modern agriculture introduced the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, posing threats to human health and the environment. Responding to these challenges, a cohort of farmers embarked on a journey to rediscover and revitalize traditional, organic methods. 

Among the trailblazers of this movement was the Organic Producers and Trade Association (OPTA), founded in the 1990s. OPTA played a pivotal role in championing organic farming practices, educating farmers on sustainable techniques, and fostering a sense of community among those seeking an alternative to conventional agriculture. 

As per the Organic Producers Trade Association (OPTA), the risk posed by consuming non-organic food is increasingly dangerous to human health. OPTA highlights that chemical farming not only harms the environment but also depletes beneficial micronutrients in the soil essential for human well-being. Additionally, OPTA warns against the health hazards associated with livestock and aquaculture raised in chemical-industrial animal farming systems. Although the Philippines has not completely prohibited the use of synthetic chemicals in animal farming, the country is committed to transitioning towards all-natural agriculture through Republic Act 10068. This legislation aims to bolster the state’s policy to promote, develop, and implement organic agriculture practices. Through this law, the farming community is expected to safeguard soil fertility, enhance farm productivity, mitigate pollution, conserve natural resources, and safeguard the health of farmers and the public. 

Key Practices in Organic Farming 

  1. Crop Rotation: Organic farmers in the Philippines prioritize crop rotation to maintain soil fertility and reduce the risk of pests and diseases. By alternately planting different crops in a specific area over time, the soil retains its nutrients and structure, resulting in healthier and more resilient plants. 
  1. Composting: At the heart of organic farming lies composting, a fundamental practice wherein farmers utilize organic matter such as kitchen scraps, crop residues, and animal manure to create nutrient-rich compost. This natural fertilizer enhances soil structure, water retention, and provides essential nutrients for optimal plant growth. 
  1. Natural Pest Control: Rather than resorting to chemical pesticides, organic farmers in the Philippines employ natural methods for pest control. This includes introducing beneficial insects, practicing companion planting, and utilizing neem-based solutions. These practices not only protect crops but also contribute to the delicate ecological balance. 
  1. Seed Saving: Organic farmers actively engage in seed-saving initiatives, recognizing the significance of maintaining biodiversity and preserving traditional crop varieties. This practice ensures a diverse range of crops that are well-adapted to local conditions, safeguarding the resilience of the agricultural ecosystem. 

Challenges Faced by Organic Farmers 

While organic farming gains momentum, it is not without its share of challenges in the Philippines. Key obstacles include: 

  1. Limited Awareness: A considerable segment of farmers and consumers remains unaware of the benefits of organic farming. Initiatives aimed at education and outreach are crucial to fostering understanding and encouraging the widespread adoption of sustainable practices. 
  1. Market Access: Organic farmers often encounter difficulties in accessing markets for their produce. Addressing this challenge necessitates the establishment of stronger connections between farmers and consumers, along with the creation of dedicated organic markets. 
  1. Transition Period: The shift from conventional to organic farming can be financially burdensome for many farmers. Government support, coupled with incentives, can play a pivotal role in easing this transition, making it more feasible for a broader spectrum of farmers to embrace sustainable practices. 
  1. Costs: One contributing factor is the higher cost associated with organic food items compared to those grown using commercial chemically formulated fertilizers. To reduce production expenses, farmers must acquire the skills to produce their own organic fertilizers. While the use of chemical inputs in farming guarantees sure harvests, there isn’t much economic inducement for farmers to organic. 

TraceX Farm Management Solutions 

Farm management solutions with TraceX play a pivotal role in facilitating the adoption of organic farming practices with ease. By providing comprehensive tools and resources, these solutions simplify the transition process for farmers. Through customized recommendations tailored to specific farm conditions, farmers can effectively analyze soil health, optimize crop rotations, and select organic inputs. TraceX ensures compliance with organic farming standards through automated record-keeping and documentation, streamlining the certification process. Real-time monitoring capabilities enable farmers to closely monitor crop health and soil conditions, allowing for proactive management strategies and reduced reliance on synthetic inputs. Additionally, access to a wealth of knowledge and expertise fosters continuous learning and improvement in organic farming techniques. By connecting farmers with organic markets and certification bodies, TraceX facilitates market access, ensuring premium prices for organic produce and promoting sustainable agricultural practices. 

Explore our Product 

The Promising Future of Organic Farming in Philippines 

Despite the challenges, the future of organic farming in Philippines is undeniably promising. The growing recognition of the environmental and health benefits of organic produce, coupled with an increasing demand from conscientious consumers, is propelling the momentum for sustainable agriculture. 

  1. Government Initiatives: The Philippine government has actively acknowledged the importance of organic farming, introducing various initiatives to support farmers in making the transition. These initiatives include financial incentives, training programs, and the establishment of organic certification standards. 
  1. Rising Consumer Demand: As consumers become more health-conscious and environmentally aware, there is a burgeoning demand for organic produce. This trend not only benefits farmers but also contributes to a healthier population and a more sustainable food system. 
  1. Community Empowerment: Organic farming fosters a sense of community among farmers. Collaborative efforts, knowledge-sharing, and the establishment of local organic networks empower farmers to overcome challenges collectively and build a resilient and sustainable agricultural community. 

Conclusion 

The journey of organic farming in Philippines is an inspiring narrative of resilience and innovation within the farming community. By embracing sustainable practices rooted in tradition, Filipino farmers are not only safeguarding the environment but also ensuring a healthier and more sustainable future for generations to come. As the Philippines emerges as a beacon of inspiration in redefining how we cultivate and consume our food, we collectively work towards a more sustainable and organic future, ensuring a harmonious coexistence between humanity and the natural world. 

Start using TraceX
Transparency, Trust, & Success for your Climate Journey.
Get the demo
food traceability, food supply chain

Please leave your details with us and we will connect with you for relevant positions.

food traceability, food supply chain

Please fill the form for all Media Enquiries, we will contact you shortly.

food traceability, food supply chain

Kindly fill the form and our Partnership team will get in touch with you!