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DA 4A intensifies organic agri programs

The Department of Agriculture (DA) IV-A during its September 27 DA CALABARZON Kapihan in Calamba City, Laguna, educates over 15 media organizations representatives about organic agriculture. (MBIL, PIA4A)

CALAMBA CITY, Laguna (PIA) — The Department of Agriculture (DA) IV-A during its September 27 DA CALABARZON Kapihan in Calamba City, Laguna, educates members of the media about organic agriculture.

Attended by over 15 media organizations' representatives in the province, DA IV-A’s Kapihan is a part of the department’s information drive to make organic agriculture mainstream and more accessible, and to promote the good practices being accomplished by one of its banner programs, the Organic Agriculture Program (OAP).

Senior Staff Margie Grimaldo of the DA-OAP IV-A laid out the initiatives that the OAP implements, particularly the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS).

Thru PGS, the OAP reviews the organic production of small-scale farmers and fisherfolk in order to certify them as high-quality and genuine organic products based on standards laid out by the Philippine National Standards on Organic Agriculture.

Those who are certified will get a chance to learn more techniques on how to make their produced organic products more high-quality and healthy, DA-4A explained.

Some of the benefits of adopting organic agriculture include less cost for the farmers for pesticides and fertilizers, safer and healthier food for the family, sustained benefits for the soil being used for crop production, higher quality of products due to healthier soil, and an improved ecosystem for the farmlands.

497,669 hectares of land in the CALABARZON region are classified as agricultural areas; 24,883.45 hectares of which are eyed by DA 4A-OAP for conversion.

There are currently 14 farms certified by the agency as organic certified farms as well as 11,884 identified organic agriculture farmers.

The OAP, dubbed by Grimaldo as the ‘most promising banner program’ by the DA to date, advocates not just for the health of the people, but also for a cleaner environment.

“We’re trying to rejuvenate ang ating mga lupa na nasusunog na because of using synthetic fertilizer and nagca-cause ng polusyon sa atin. Ikalawa, yung health natin. Kasi yung kinakain natin sa ngayon, di’ba binobomba po yan ng synthetic fertilizer. Pero kita ninyo, magca-cause po talaga ng sakit iyan sa atin,” she said.

Grimaldo adds, “Kailangan talaga natin na ipromote yung organic agriculture kasi kailangan nating maibalik yung sigla at yung kalusugan ng ating lupa. Kasi pano tayo magkakaroon ng magandang production kung saan yung lupa e talagang sira, yun po talaga ang purpose ng organic agriculture.”

For 2023, the DA 4A-OAP aims to strengthen its programs by intensifying its promotion and education campaigns on organic agriculture thru partnerships, improving certification assistance to the farmers, and intensifying research and development for organic products and technologies. (CH/PIA-4A)

About the Author

Christopher Hedreyda

Region 4A

Provincial Information Center Manager, PIA Laguna

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