Organic farming urged nationwide

Organic farming urged nationwide

PAGADIAN City — The Department of Agriculture is pursuing its organic agriculture campaign by trying to reach out to organic farming practitioners in the country.

The National Organic Agriculture Board (NOAB), together with the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Product Standards (BAFPS), is visiting major regions in the country to update all organic practitioners from the non-government organizations (NGO), peoples’ organizations (PO) and local government units on the implementing rules and regulations of the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 (R.A. 10068) as well as its programs that are beneficial to farmers.

In Zamboanga Peninsula, the conduct of the Mindanao-wide NGO-PO Forum in Dipolog City raised questions and presented major concerns that focused on the sustainability of the program and the technicalities of the proposal-making for the program grant.

er–In-Charge Vicente Balinguit read the message of Regional Executive Director Eduardo B. Holoyohoy that said “the activity supports the Food self-sufficiency and nutrition security through sustainable organic and ecological agriculture in the Philippines and the production of ‘healthier’ food through organic farming.”

He also quoted Secretary Proceso J. Alcala saying “our emphasis on organic farming rests on our thrust to surmount dependency on imported agricultural chemicals which not only drain our foreign exchange reserves, but also contribute to environmental and land degradation.”

Rey Pedroso of the Badianagan Organic Farmers’ Association and Visayas Representative for Small Farmers said, “The department is serious in its advocacy for the sustainability of the program but since the main thrust of DA is food security, we cannot abruptly shift from conventional to organic as it might cause food shortage in the country.”
To advance the program to the next level, grants are given in the form of organic farming infrastructures, trainings/extensions, and production support in which the organizations are required to submit proposal to be approved by the NOAB.

“Slowly and patiently we are trying to win the hearts of other entities to shift to organic farming as there is no question about its environmental sustainability and health benefits. The creation of R.A. 10068 means that you are already recognized as organic agriculture farmers, from there let’s create a common perspective,” added Dr. Charito Medina, of Magsasaka at Siyentipiko Para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura.

As part of the department’s support to the farmers, DA-RFU-IX Organic Focal Person Peter Andalahao proposed a proposal-making training as an aid for the approval of the requests of farmers.

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