12th Bicol Organic Agri Congress draws more advocates

October 24, 2019

NAGA CITY – Over 600 organic agriculture practitioners, enthusiasts and advocates  from the  six provinces  of Bicol gathered in one of the hotels in this city on October 21 to 22 for the 12th Bicol Organic Agriculture Congress. Engineer Christopher V. Morales, Director of the DA National Agriculture Organic Program  graced  the event together  with Adelberto Baniqued  who sits at the National organic Agriculture Board as Mindanao Small Farmer Representative and  who discussed  updates and new policies and guidelines on the OA program.

Director Morales commended the Bicol OA program under the leadership OIC- Regional Technical   Director  and concurrently  Regional OA focal person, Adelina A . Losa  for consistently   bagging top national awards  in the National  Annual  Search for OA Achievers and efficiently disbursing and utilizing the budget allocations for the OA program. He also noted Bicol Organic  Agriculture  Program’s 90% attainment  by far   of its target for 2019. He asserted that  the OA Program is active and firm in accomplishing its goal and urged everyone to  continue to support  and strengthen the program.  He added that the  annual conduct of  OA congress  and recognition  of  the  achievers  is an avenue to inspire  and encourage   more   farmers to go into organic farming.

    According to  DA Bicol’s OIC-Regional Executive Director  Rodel P. Tornilla  as of September this year a total of 46,448 or 6.06% of the total agricultural area of Bicol region  is either in-conversion or already converted to organic and 98 farms  equivalent to  128 hectares were already certified  as organic by the Organic  Certification Center of the Philippines .

The event was highlighted  by the  conferment of  awards and recognition   to the  seven (7) individual and group awardees for the    2019 Regional Organic Agriculture Achievers . Ligao City from Albay province   was conferred as Outstanding City in Organic Agriculture and awarded a cash Prize of P300,000 and a plaque.   The Agri-Planters  and Food Processors  Association of Tigaon   (TAPFPAT)  was conferred  as Outstanding  Organic Agriculture  Small Farmer Group and received a cash prize of P100,000.   The Amata Family  (Florentino and Edalyn)  from San Pedro in Goa, Camarines Sur was conferred as Outstanding  OA  Small Farm Family  and awarded P50,000.  Meanwhile,   Elmer Salazar  was conferred Outstanding  OA Small Individual  Farmer  and received  P50,000.  Lorenzo Intia from Caraycayon in  Tigaon, Camarines Sur was conferred  Outstanding  Young Farmer in OA and received  P30,000. 

 The Agricultural Extension workers who have  been at the frontline assisting the OA farmers were also recognized and  awarded .  They were: Sienna Sombrero Of LGU Tigaon as Outstanding OA Municipal Focal person  and received P20,000 and Luisita Navo as Outstanding  OA extension Worker and received  P15,000.  All the awardees were also given plaque of appreciation.  All these regional winners will  vie for the national award which will  be  announced  and conferred  during the National OA Congress at Camp Benjamin in Alfonso Cavite on November 12-14, 2019

Also recognized and given cash prizes were  the most promising awardees namely:  Municipality of Tigaon as Most Promising Municipality; Borabo family of Tigaon as Most Promising Small Farming Family; Rossini Obligacion,  Angelica Sapon and Vincer Quibral as  Most promising Individual farmers; Grace Dejumo as Most Promising City Focal person and  Felix Gino Murillo as Most promising Extension Worker.

Successful and  model organic agriculture  practitioners  shared their best practices and experiences revolving on this year’s adapted theme:  Organikong Agrikultura sa Mauswag na Kabuhayan para sa Marhay na Salud  asin Kapalibutan . These include  Fr. Ian Trillanes of Emiliano’s Nature Farm,  Cherry T. Lo of Sonrisa Farm; Josephine Artiaga of St. Francis Sta. Rita Nature’s Farm,  Jose Obligacion of Joross Farm .  Patrick Belisario who  discussed  Sustainable Livelihood  & their Impact to Environment  

Adding  color and drawing crowds to  this year’s regional  OA  regional congress were the selling booths of various organic products  from the six provinces.  Twenty  three  (23) exhibitors  participated in the  mini fair and brisk selling was noted  as more consumers   are now  clamoring   for organic  and naturally grown  or processed products .

The event was capped by the drafting and presentation of Resolutions. (EMILY B. BORDADO/DA-RAFISV)

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