The 3rd Congress of International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements in Asia (IFOAM Asia) was held last September 16-21, 2018, hosted by the Philippine Government through its Local Government Unit of Bislig City, Surigao del Sur in Mindanao.
In recognition of the importance of organic agriculture in the Philippines and as support the practitioners, the Government was promoted to pass Republic Act (RA) 10068 or The Organic Agriculture Law. RA 10068 intends to fortify organic agriculture in the country and put in place necessary policies to ensure further promotion and development of organic agriculture and compliance to standards. Fortunately, there is a more inclusive certification known as the Participatory Guarantee System or PGS.
The couple, Santiago (Santi) and Carmelita (Mely) Cervantes are organic practitioners and trainers in Zone 4, Binanuaanan, Pili, Camarines Sur. Santi is 61 years old with an MS Business Management degree while Mely has a postgraduate degree at UPLB. In 2004, Mely was introduced to PABINHI Pilipinas, a network of scientists and farmers that promote sustainable agriculture and seed sharing. The network was instrumental in providing different farmer-bred selections and traditional/ heirloom rice which they tested in their farms. Now, Mely is a volunteer scientist, and also the regional focal person and trainer on SRI in Bicol Region.
Tillage is an agricultural preparation of the soil by mechanical agitation of various types, such as gidding, stirring and overturning. The purpose of tillage is to mix organic matter into the soil, to help control weeds, break up crusted soil or loosen up small area for planting. But nowadays, there are conflict on the effects of tillage in the soil. Is tillage really good for the soil?
Since 2016, Center for Bayanihan Economicshas been certified as an organic farm under OCCP. Last December 29, 2017, CBE once again passed the certification process and is now certified for the period of December 29, 2017 – August 11, 2018.
The Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 or the Republic Act 10068 is an Act providing for the development and promotion of organic agriculture in the Philippines. It declares that the policy of the State shall be to promote, propagate, develop further and implement the practice of organic agriculture in the country.
As the Lifebank’s CBE continue asserting its role on empowering sustainable agriculture, the SEP (Social Enterprise Program) team and the SAP (Sustainable Agriculture Program) team went to University of the Philippines in Los Banos, Laguna to explore food processing innovations and marketing strategies.
iRelief Foundation is a non-profit organization established to give support to underprivileged individuals, families, and communities that have been affected by calamities and disasters in hard to reach areas. To extend assistance to affected farming communities, the foundation crafted another project for rice farmers – the technology transfer of Organic SRI (System of Rice Intensification).
Bokashi is a Japanese term meaning “fermented organic matter” which was first advocated in 1935 by the Japanese philosopher Mokichi in Okada, Japan. Aside from providing nourishment to the plants, it also helps in restoring and enhancing the nutrient content and essential microorganisms in the soil.
Dagyawan – a Visayan word that represents the Filipino Bayanihan spirit. The term also refers to the bayanihan group activities of the beneficiaries of iRelief Foundation that help the farmers in their practice of organic SRI technology.
Mr. Mauro started as a conventional farmer in 2009 and shifted to organic farming in 2012. His shift to organic-based farm practices is not only motivated by the opportunity of gaining higher profit and higher productivity but also by his desire to advocate for healthy living and sustainable agriculture .
Maribeth Cardano, born in July 17, 1955, is an Ikabuhi Microfinance Program (IMP) member whose main source of income is farming. She owned a 5000-square meter of land that is being used for growing crops which is located in Matictic, Norzagaray, Bulacan.