Sibulan named first aggie organic zone

Barangay Sibulan in Toril District is now declared as the first agricultural organic zone in Davao City in an ordinance approved by 18th City Council of Davao on third and final reading on Wednesday.

The ordinance declaring Barangay Sibulan as an agricultural organic area and for other purposes was authored by the committee of agriculture chaired by Councilor Marissa S. Abella.

The ordinance aims “to preserve the integrity of the area as an organic agricultural zone to prevent contamination from using chemical-based farm inputs and mining, including contamination of genetically-engineered crops and other similar activities as provided for in the Organic Agriculture Ordinance of Davao City.”

Along with the passage of the ordinance, the city government shall give incentives, awards and financial support to farmers and schools that would pursue, promote and practice organic farming, instead of penalizing them.

Kristine Datanaga, committee on food and agriculture executive assistant, said that giving incentives will be the way to motivate the farmers to convert to organic agricultural practices.

The ordinance states that non organic farms within the organic agricultural zone shall have a maximum period of five years from the date of approval of the ordinance within which to convert their conventional farm to organic farm. No new conventional farm using synthetic chemicals shall hereafter be established within the organic zone.

Earlier, the measure designated as item 1364 in session agenda was supposedly on its third and final reading but the city council decided to revert the ordinance back to second reading status due to pending review by it authors and sponsors for some needed changes.

According to the ordinance, Barangay Sibulan local government unit is directed to provide appropriate signages in collaboration with a cooperative advocating organic agriculture, as well as the prohibited acts within the area.