DA-8 embarks on
intensified promotion of organic farming in East Visayas
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – The
Department of Agriculture Regional Office 8 has embarked an
intensified campaign to promote organic farming in Eastern Visayas.
The DA is wasting no
time in advocating the program as mandated under Republic Act (RA)
10068 otherwise known as Organic Agriculture Act of 2010. The law
provides for the development and promotion of organic agriculture in
the country to increase productivity, reduce environmental
degradation, cut expenses on imported farm inputs, and protect the
health of farmers, consumers and the general public.
No less than
Agriculture Regional Executive Director Antonio G. Gerundio led the
organic farming promotion as he exhorted the local government partners
in the provinces of partners in the provinces of Southern Leyte and
Biliran “to go back to the basics” through organic farming.
“There is now a global
or worldwide trend to re-embrace the natural farming system due to
prevalence of synthetically compounded fertilizers, pesticides, growth
regulators and livestock feed additives that excessively harm the
environment,” RED Garundio said.
RED Gerundio made the
call to the participants composed of local chief executives, municipal
agriculturists, agricultural technologists and other key partners who
attended the Orientation and Briefing on the Organic Agriculture
Program (OAP) held in Maasin City, Southern Leyte and Almeria, Biliran
on November 24 and 25, 2011, respectively.
“We have ‘bad habits’
formed during the Green Revolution” in the 1960s. But we can not blame
anyone because at that time the world was faced with an emerging food
shortage due to rapid population increase. Hence, the world resorted
to science to develop high yielding varieties in the hope of meeting
the global food requirements. But high yielding varieties also
require high application of inorganic fertilizer, pesticides and
artificial enhancers that significantly contributes to environmental
destruction. It was proven that chemicals destroy soil micro-organisms
resulting in poor soil structure and aeration, thus decreasing
nutrient availability,” Director Gerundio explained.
The briefing paved the
way to initially orient the participants on the program and to
organize provincial and municipal/city Local Technical Committees for
the OAP. It will be patterned from the composition of the National
Organic Agriculture Board (NOAB) which is composed of representatives
from the DA, DILG, DENR, DAR, DOST, DTI, DepEd, DOH, small farmers
organizations, NGO, the academe, and the private sector/agribusiness
member-agency/sector will have an important role to plan in order to
successfully carry out various activities under the program, RED
Also present as
resource speakers during the activity were OAP Regional Focal Person
Engr. Melecia C. Gordillo, OAP support staff and DA-8 Executive
Assistant Mr. Onisimo C. Paduano, Eastern Visayas Organic Agriculture
Network Chair and VSU Dean Dr. Edwin A. Balbarino, and Ms Ma. Elena A.
Mendoza, LGU Ormoc City Marketing Division chief.
The United States
Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines organic farming as a
production system that avoids or largely excludes the use of
synthetically compounded fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators
and livestock feed additives.
systems rely on crop rotations, crop residues, animal manures,
legumes, green manures, off-farm organic wastes, and aspects of
biological pest control to maintain soil productivity and tilt,
support plant nutrients and control insects, weeds and other pests.
The DA in coordination
with its LGU-partners will be conducting similar orientation briefing
in other provinces in the region before the year ends, Mr. Francis
Rosaroso, DA-8 chief information officer said.