Production of organic vegetables towards food safety in Cagayan Valley, Philippines

L.A. Gaspar, B.T. Galoso, C.A. Pascua, R.B. Olinares, M.P. Callueng, B. Pablo, L.A. de Guzman, J. Ibarra, C.T. Miranda, V. Corales, R. Busania, A. Abluyan, C. Batallones, R. Jose
The Philippine government, through the Department of Agriculture endorses, develops and implements organic agriculture with the objective to promote and support wellness and food safety for Filipinos. In Region 02 (Cagayan Valley) of the Philippines, demonstration/trial areas of 5,000 m2 were established to ensure availability of planting materials and for the promotion of organic vegetables. Cultural management was based on conventional methods following protocols for organic vegetable production. Production data and farm practices were gathered and analysed to determine impacts to farmers and to serve as a basis for the creation of the internal control system (ICS) and the package of technology (POT) on chemical-free vegetable production as pre-requisite to certification. Produced crops were spices and lowland vegetables. Organic fertiliser (29.3 t), produced through vermicomposting, supplied the nutrient requirement. About 441 L of natural farming inputs (NFIs) were produced using available resources and applied in the vegetative, reproductive and fruiting stages of crops to prevent pests and diseases. These NFIs included fermented plant juice (FPJ), fermented fruit juice (FFJ), oriental herbal nutrient (OHN), calcium amino acid (CAA) and fish amino acid (FAA). Pesticide residue analysis showed that organophosphates, organochlorides and pyrethroids were below the limit of quantification (<0.01 mg kg-1), resulting in no chemical contamination to the crops, which are completely safe for human consumption. Allium sativum had the highest produced seeds (7.7 t) in spices, while Phaseolus vulgaris (0.13 t) produced the highest in lowland vegetables. Solanum melongena had the highest production of seedlings (45715 pieces). The high production was due to demand of farmers, easier propagation, fewer pests and diseases, and preference for household consumption. At present, there are 9863 beneficiaries of the project, including farmers, walk-in clients and participants in government programs on backyard gardening, school in a garden and nutrition month. The production of organic vegetables provided a local and ready source of organic planting materials for farmers. The production of organically grown vegetables greatly added to the objectives of achieving food safety.
Gaspar, L.A., Galoso, B.T., Pascua, C.A., Olinares, R.B., Callueng, M.P., Pablo, B., de Guzman, L.A., Ibarra, J., Miranda, C.T., Corales, V., Busania, R., Abluyan, A., Batallones, C. and Jose, R. (2018). Production of organic vegetables towards food safety in Cagayan Valley, Philippines. Acta Hortic. 1213, 475-480
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1213.70
food safety, organic, vegetables, consumption

Acta Horticulturae