Candon City, Ilocos Sur―Farmers and food processors here see bright prospects in organic soybean production.
“Farmers here started planting organic soybean to areas not so productive with other plants,” said Melinda Calumpit from Department of Agriculture (DA) Ilocos Region.
Calumpit is also Project Leader of the DA Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR)-funded project Enhancing Organic Soybean Production and Processing for Improved Local Supply and Utilization in Region 1.
“We introduced to local farmers PSB SY2 soybean variety that is very good for processing like for producing soymilk,” she said.
Candon City is unique for having soybean farmers, processors, and product buyers, Calumpit said.
A cooperator of the project is a local church of the Seventh Day Adventist in Brgy. Palacapac here engaged in soybean processing. The group produces soymilk, cookies, and tofu.
“Before we used to purchase imported soybean from Divisoria, now we buy from farmers here. And the soybean here is of better quality compared to imported soybean from Canada and USA,” said Pastor Dom Comedian.
“We members of the Seventh Day Adventist are health-conscious, we consume the soybean products. At the same time, the undertaking provides us income,” he added.
Calumpit said about 60 hectares are planted with soybean in Region 1.
DA BAR Applied Communication Division Head Julia Lapitan said: “Farmers here are producing organic and non-GMO soybean which can be processed for better quality products.”