DA-2 urges farmers to observe good agricultural practices

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, June 2 (PIA) – In present times where people are advised to take nutritious diets in order to attain good health for them to combat COVID-19, eating of fresh and pesticide-safe fruits and vegetables is important.

With community pantries sprouting like mushrooms in many barangays to address food sufficiency amidst the pandemic, most supplies available are fruits and vegetables. Thus, farmers are advised to abide by the standards of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) set by the Department of Agriculture.

While the department understands the plight of farmers in increasing their yield, the latter should not fail to provide safe-to-eat fruits and vegetables to consumers, or else, they might lose their livelihood as people avoid consuming produce with high pesticide residues. This is according to DA Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulatory Mary Rose Aquino.

Since the pandemic, the agriculture sector did not stop producing food. In fact, they are one of the busiest sectors working in order to sustain food production. However, the department warned farmers to practice food safety.

The DA assured that fruits and vegetables sold in the different Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita outlets adhered to the pesticide residue level to be considered pesticide safe.

Aquino said that food safety is no longer a novelty in the region since it was introduced a few years back. Moreover, there are already a number of local government units, cooperatives, and associations practicing GAPs in support to food safety.

She cited that the Nueva Vicaya Agricultural Terminal in Bambang has already filed a resolution for the DA to conduct random testings of vegetables entering the terminal. In response, a mini laboratory was established and is now operational. The results will serve as basis for the DA to come up with measures on food safety interventions including training on GAP.

The Tuguegarao City government likewise proposed for the same resolution where all fruits and vegetables coming to the city will be tested for pesticide residue levels and those that will not pass will be denied entry. City Mayor Jefferson Soriano said this will ensure the health of the consumers in the city.

Meanwhile, the populace are encouraged to do backyard gardening or vertical gardening in containmrs especially in areas where there are no spaces for backyard gardens. The DA Regional Executive Director Edillo Narciso said that planting during the pandemic can help address food scarcity. The DA, through its Plant Plant Plant program, provides free seeds and seedlings to offices and households to encourage them to become food producers.

Different divisions at the DA regional offices have their respective gardens in their offices showcasing various vegetables planted in recycled materials like bottles, plastics, sacks, old jeans and containers.

Recently, the DA also recognized outstanding offices with “Gulayan sa Opisina Project”. (JCK/GVB/PIA 2-Cagayan)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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