East-West Seed launches first hybrid organic vegetable seeds
Dec. 17, 2012
These seeds, produced without using pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, are expected to encourage farmers to adopt the organic way of growing vegetables.
The production of these seeds is in line with Republic Act 10068, or the Philippine Organic Act, which promotes organic farming and organic processing.
Select vegetable farmers and agriculture enthusiasts attended the launch, held on Wednesday and led by Bureau of Plant Industry Director Clarito Baron, Mayor Lorna Silverio of San Rafael and East-West Seed officials.
"We want to provide innovative products and services that will help increase the income of vegetable farmers, as well as promote the growth and quality of the tropical vegetable industry,” said Mary Ann Sayoc, general manager of East-West Seed.
"Farmers now face a different challenge: They must feed more people with the same amount of land. We realize the critical role that farmers play in food security and nutrition, and we do our part by producing vegetable-seed varieties that thrive in [various] conditions,” she added.
Founded in 1982 by Dutch agriculturist Simon Groot and Filipino seed trader Benito Domingo, East-West Seed’s aims to produce suitable vegetable-seed varieties to allow farmers to be more productive and help assure agricultural sustainability.
Groot said the country has 160,000 hectares of vegetable farms, adding that these should be raised to 200,000 hectares in the next 10 years to meet the growing demand for vegetables.
The next challenge is to increase by 50 percent the country’s vegetable production in the next decade, according to the agriculturist.
East-West Seed began applying European-style seedsmanship to Asian tropical vegetables in 1982, convinced that by introducing intensive breeding programs in developing vegetable-seed markets, farmers’ lives would improve.
Its first commercial success—a hybrid bitter gourd—came after several years of research.
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