Organic agriculture is bbwsdatewebsites.com slowly making headway, an indication that farmers are going back to the old and traditional way of farming: the organic way. Despite the heavy rains caused by typhoons Egay and Falcon, organic agriculture advocates gathered at the 1st National Organic Agriculture Scientific Conference held at the Benguet State University (BSU) Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) from July 7-11, 2015 to share studies and experiences and promote organic agriculture.
With the theme “Philippine Organic Agriculture Competitiveness in the ASEAN,” the conference was attended by 200 organic agricultural practitioners, researchers, farm leaders and farmers, representatives of various local government units and professors from different State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) from Luzon to Mindanao.
The guest speaker Sen. Cynthia Villar, in a speech read by her representative Atty. Regie Tamanya, stressed that the implementation of the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement will contribute to the overall agricultural growth and development of the country. She said the promotion, development and implementation of the practice of organic agriculture in the country will result to numerous benefits that will increase farm development. In 2010 the Philippines passed the Organic Agriculture Act which provides for development and promotion opportunities of organic agriculture.
Benguet Gov. Nestor Fongwan who welcomed the delegates and participants underlined the big effect of the Agri Pinoy Trading Center in Benguet, saying it helps farmers to sell their agricultural products especially highland vegetables.
During the forum, Atty. Ramon Maranon a member of National Organic Agriculture Board (NOAB) said that for farmers who have been waiting for government subsidy for organic agriculture, one form is ready for those who want their farms to be certified as organic farms. This subsidy however has yet to be signed by Department of Agriculture Sec. Proceso Alcala, but once signed, according to him, it will be available to the public. Atty. Maranon added that one thing for sure is no use of chemicals, as it is one of the certification guidelines.
Many activities were lined up during the five days of conference. Plenary sessions tackled such topics as “Organic Agriculture and Food Security: Perspective, Challenges and Potentials” presented by Vice President of Inang Lupa Movement Sonny Domingo and “Empowering Yourself with EM Power: Healthy Soils, Healthy Plants and Healthy Farmers” by Mr.Arsenio “Toto” Barcelona, President of HARBEST Agribusiness Corporation. Various researches on organic agriculture were presented and discussed by faculty and researchers from different state universities and colleges. Other activities were a farmer’s forum on organic practices attended by farmers of Sagada, Tuba and La Trinidad, farm visits to organic farms in La Trinidad and exhibits on different organic products and equipment.
The 1st National Organic Agriculture was organized by the Organic Agriculture Society of the Philippines and Benguet State University. The sponsors were the Department of Agriculture, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Agriculture- Bureau of Agricultural Research(DA-BAR),Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Soils and Water Management(DA-BSWM), Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI), Highland Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (HARRDEC), HARBEST Agribusiness Corporation, Province of Benguet and La Trinidad local government units, Central Bicol State University of Agriculture, Isabela State University, Cagayan State University, University of Southern Mindanao and Benguet State University.