DA-10 through its OA program spearheads the conduct of the 7th ROAC in CdeO City, mustering 70 organic practitioners, advocates and other relevant stakeholders regionwide to exchange knowledge, experiences and strategies to further OA farming.
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 (DA-10) helmed by Director Carlene C. Collado through its Organic Agriculture (OA) program convenes about 70 organic practitioners, advocates and other relevant stakeholders regionwide for the conduct of the 7th Regional Organic Agriculture Congress (ROAC) on November 6-7 here.
With this year’s theme: “Kabuhayang OA, Kinabukasang OA”, the activity sought for the exchange of knowledge, experiences, and strategies to further promote and develop the organic agriculture industry in Northern Mindanao pursuant to OA of 2010, as amended by RA 11511.
It also highlighted organic farming as a potent tool for the development, environmental conservation, and health protection of farmers, consumers and the public, at the same time serving as a venue for farmers and agripreneurs to showcase their organic and naturally grown harvest and products.
As the Senate Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change chair, Senator Cynthia A. Villar rendered a message to the ROAC participants via a short video clip emphasizing the salient feature of the amendment of the organic law as well as the benefits in the adoption of OA.
“Ang RA 11511 ay naglalayong palakasin ang OA sa bansa sa pamamagitan ng Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) accreditation ng mga small farmer ay maparami sa pamamagitan ng kanilang mga community-based organic agriculture organizations,” the official remarked.
Likewise, the senator detailed that the PGS is an alternative and cheaper option compared to the third-party organic certification and is seen to help about 165K small organic farmers throughout the country.
“Maganda mag produce ng organic products dahil ito’y nabebenta na mas mahal ikompara sa conventionally produced agricultural products lalo na kung ito’y certified at dahil marami ng health conscious na naghahanap ng ganitong produkto,” she quipped.
Senator Villar further noted that OA practices help improve the quality of our soil and water.
“Malaki ang maitutulong nito sa degradation ng ating soil na ngayon ay nasa 38% at ma-save ang environment.”
Offering a supportive environment towards the advancement of OA, the confab featured presentations focused on RA 11511, updates on the implementation of OA program at the national and regional levels, guidelines on the implementation of OA Livelihood Projects (OALP), and Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 1, Series of 2022 between DA and the Department of the Interior and Local Government which underscores the pivotal roles and responsibilities of local government units (LGUs) in propagating and developing further and implementing the practice of OA in the different localities.
Of which, the latter provides the provision of subsidies and incentives to practicing organic farmers, technical assistance and support to LGUs for the establishment and strengthening of local organic seed centers, distribution of organic seeds, planting materials, animals, and aquaculture for organic farm inputs, among others.
During the event, the provincial OA focal persons from the provinces of Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte and Misamis Oriental also presented their respective OA industry profiles, roadmap and plans for a minimum of three years to help set a direction for the implementation of OA across the region.
“DA needs strong coordination among relevant government agencies, LGUs, and stakeholders through the conduct of sustained and massive national and community-based action,” DA-10 Regional Technical Director for Operations Carlota S. Madriaga noted, saying this is the key to an effective and successful implementation of OA programs and its components.
Also highlighted in the Congress is the awarding of certificates of recognition to ten PGS organic certifying bodies in Region 10, namely: the Molijon Family Garden, Villa de Pietro Agricultural Farms, Lo Osting Farmville, Pendato Integrated Organic Farm, Rama’s Nature Farm, Green Wonder Farm, Garrucho’s Garden and Diversified Farm, Engallado Nature Farm and Natural Food Products, Anpa’s Farm, and the Umanika Eco-Cultural Farm.
Further, recognized were the five OA youth scholars under DA-Agricultural Training Institute’s Youth Scholarship Grant on Organic Farming program. These are Roel B. Omega, Jeriel E. Canonigo, Najer J. Mama, Jenny Jamisola and Rey Mark U. Anggoy. # (JLO)