|November 26, 2003,
organic-research.com/Manilla Times: Rice has
a rich history in the Filipino culture and still remains
a staple of the modern diet, but the agricultural methods
being used to deliver that rice to the table are a recent
development. It is these modern agriculture techniques
the Organic Rice Festival being held at the Ayala Activity
Center hopes to expose in favor of organic methods that
are more environmentally sound and economically empowering
and more familiar to past generations, reports the The
Organic rice cooperatives earn more for their farmers
than conventional farms, says the paper. The Cooperatibang
Likas ng Nueva Ecija (COOL-NE) is one such example.
COOL-NE, with the help of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction
Movement, began growing, processing and marketing their
brand of organic rice called Kalikasan. Seven years
later there are over a hundred farmers with an aggregate
of nearly 200 hectares that benefit from the program.
COOL-NE has profited from institutional markets, such
as restaurants, who appreciate the unique rice varieties
organic farmers make available and the value it adds
to their restaurant.
Educating consumers on the benefits of organic rice
is the primary goal of the festival. In addition the
festival hopes to bring together the different proponent
organizations and increase consumer demand enough to
hopefully offset the premium prices the rice now commands.
Organic rice is available in many of the more established
Filipino supermarkets and grocery chain outlets, such
as Metro Manila Ever, Isetann, Glori’s, Unimart,
Cash & Carry, Rustan’s, and Masagana.