Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mindanao participates in building the Philippine Organic Roadmap

Various stakeholders in Mindanao attended the consultative workshop on the formulation of Philippine Organic Agriculture(OA) Roadmap held at Davao City last September 7, 2011 organized by Bureau of Agriculture & Fisheries Product Standards headed by Dr. Gilberto F. Layese.

Various sectors coming from the Local Government Units, Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office, Department of Agriculture Provincial Field Office, Non-Government Organizations, Peoples Organization,and Business Sector.

The workshop intended to answer two main questions namely: What are the problems you see in Organic Agriculture in the Philippines and What do you think is the solution to the said problem. Each sector gave various views but in the end the Key Areas were identified: Research, Development & Extension, Production, Financial Market development and Policy.

The NGO Group 3 had identified RD&E as first priority. Such priority was based on the facts that there are no data available yet to support the claims in terms of technology and so with the whole value chain of organic agriculture. The need of looking at the whole value chain of Philippine Organic Agriculture is what we are pushing and not just one sector. Further, we need to instill and train our farmers to look Farming As A Business not just organic farming.

There were discussions on why the Department of Agriculture are promoting Organic Agriculture yet also promoting BioTechnology. Dr. Leyese stressed that Organic Farming is an option. Indeed, it is an option and I believe we have our choice. Nevertheless Filipino Farmers need to educated so that they can see the pros and cons of organic farming. Without that, they would stick to what they believe in and the cycle goes...

Finally, my congratulations to the National Organic Agriculture Board (NOAB) and the Department Of Agriculture headed by Sec. Alcala for starting to make a difference in the Philippine Organic Agriculture. May you continue to work on it not just on papers but rather in the field - Balik Kita sa Uma.

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