The five-day activity will feature various events such as:
- Organic Cookfest, a cooking demonstration of special menus made from organic produce by celebrity chefs, well-known restaurateurs and participants from selected culinary schools.
- Fora on the latest updates in organic agriculture by internationally known experts on organic food production
- songwriting contest
- quiz bees
- night concerts with live bands
- exhibits of organic, healthy, local and vegetarian food
- eco-friendly products and technology
- agri-tourism health and wellness fair.
Exhibits will be displayed at the Organic na Negros! Market and event booths at Gatuslao St. and South Capitol Road (fronting the Negros Forest and COA office building) while symposia will be held at the Provincial Capitol Social Hall.
Started in 2006, the festival is considered the first and the longest-running festival of its kind in the country, organizers said. Since its inception, the festival has helped the Negros Island position itself as a major producer of organic products in the country.
The push for organic products in Negros started gaining ground in the 1990s when several non-government organizations held small exhibits of organic products at the Bacolod downtown area.
However, it was only in 2005 when the provincial government of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental signed a Memorandum of Agreement to join hands to promote organic agriculture and make Negros Island the “Organic Food Bowl of Asia” and formally launched the 1st Negros Island Organic Farmers Festival the following year, organizers said.
Organizers added that the annual Negros Island Organic Festival is a rare gathering of local organic farmers, producers and consumers, including chefs and restaurateurs.
This year’s organic festival will be bigger in terms of participation because organizers have invited various organic groups from other regions around the country to join in the exhibits and other activities.
This is also a parallel activity of the Provincial Veterinary Office which is going to be held on the same days on December 16 to 20 at the Provincial Capitol Grounds.
Both activities are in line with the program of food security thrust of Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo G. Marañon, Jr.
The governor believes that his 'Food for Peace' program will help improve the lives of Negrenses in the countryside. This year’s festival is spearheaded by the provincial government of Negros Occidental through the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA), in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, the Negros Island Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (NISARD) Foundation and the Organik na Negros! Organic Producers and Retailers Association (ONOPRA).
The 2011 organic festival is focused on providing more livelihood opportunities for small organic farmers as a means of alleviating poverty, organizers said.