Negros: The Organic Food Bowl of Asia
, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental
Belle Piccio | Nov 27, 2015
The 10th Negros Island Organic Farmers Festival or simply known as Organic Negros was held last November 25, 2015 at the Provincial Capitol Grounds, North Capitol Road, Bacolod City, Neg. Occ.
Organic Negros is the most-awaited event for health and diet conscious persons. Booths are lined up along the Capitol Grounds selling organic vegetables, fruits, and other produce coming from different cities and municipalities of Negros Island. What started as a movement is now a celebrated festival!
The event started in the late 1980’s when Negrenses advocated organic farming. Many different groups aimed to save and preserve the environment of Negros Island. They spread awareness about the advocacy calling for more people to support them by teaching ways on how to farm organically.
One of the first advocate of the project is Columban priest, Fr. Brian Gore, who supported vermicomposting or vermi-culture. Fellow priests started to support Gore after becoming aware that poverty is associated with the devastation of the environment. Fr. Gore learned vermicomposting from a Bacolod-based Australian environmentalist, Basil Rossi. He trained Fr. Gore’s men and introduced organic farming to small farmers. That’s when the program began. With the support of the general public, NGOs, LGUs and private organizations the program has transformed and organic farmers expanded their knowledge. They were introduced to alternative farming technologies and joined conferences here and abroad, until they hosted annual organic trade fairs in Bacolod City.
In 2005, both the governors of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental signed a memorandum of agreement to protect the biodiversity of the island. It is also to attain the goal of becoming a “Negros Organic Island” and with the vision of making the island as the “Organic Food Bowl of Asia.” The first Negros Island Organic Farmers Festival was celebrated on July 15, 2006 at Bacolod City.
Now, more and more organic farms sprouted around Negros Island.
The 10th Negros Island Organic Farmers Festival celebration will end on November 29, 2015.
(Photos courtesy of Organic Farmers Festival)
How to Get There
From Manila, you can fly to Bacolod (Php2500++, round trip, 45 minutes). From Bacolod-Silay Airport, you can take a shuttle (Php75-100 per head), or a cab (minimum of Php400) and ask to be dropped off at your destination.
Read more of Negros Island: