8th National Organic Agricultural Conference


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http://rtvm.gov.ph
8 November 2011
Ninoy Aquino Center, Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac City

President Benigno S. Aquino III keynoted the 8th National Organic Agriculture Conference (NOAC) where almost a thousand participants from government agencies, local government units, farmer groups/cooperatives, non-government organizations, organic business firms and other sectors engaged in organic agriculture gathered at the Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac City.

The three-day conference is anchored on the theme “Organic Farming: Towards Food Sufficiency and Healthy Environment.”

During the program, President Aquino awarded the Gawad Saka Outstanding Organic Agriculture Farmer for 2011 to Benjamin Lao (President/CEO of Lao Integrated Farms, Inc. in Bansalan, Davao del Sur) for his “exemplary performance in promoting and developing organic agriculture in the Philippines” that includes the exporting of organic sugar overseas.

In his message, the President cited the importance of organic agriculture in addressing the challenges brought about by climate change in the country. “Mismong ang United Nations — Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO) na po ang nagsasabi: malaki ang potensyal ng organikong pagsasaka na mai-angat ang kita at labanan ang gutom at kahirapan sa mga papaunlad na bansa tulad ng Pilipinas. Dahil hindi ginagamitan ng chemical-based fertilizers, ligtas na paraan ito sa produksyon ng pagkain, at malaya ito sa posibleng banta sa kalusugan at kalikasan. Nakakatulong din ito upang mapababa ang gastos sa sakahan,” President Aquino said.

He added that he expects the agribusiness industry to further develop due to the increasing consumer demand for safe and nutritious food. “Noong 2006, umabot na sa 40 bilyong dolyar ang global market para sa organic commodities, ayon sa UN-FAO. Tinatayang aabot ang halaga nito sa 70 bilyong dolyar pagdating ng 2012,” the President stated.

The Philippines is one of the first countries to pass into law and make it a state policy to teach and implement organic farming thru Republic Act 10068 or the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 which was authored by then Quezon Representative and now Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala. “Inaasahan ko ang tuloy-tuloy na pagdodoble-kayod ng D.A. sa pagbuo at pagpapatupad ng mga polisiya at programa na magpapabilis sa pag-unlad ng organic farming sa bansa, sa ilalim ng kanilang National Organic Agriculture Program. Katuwang naman ang Department of Budget and Management, sisiguruhin natin na mailalaan ng D.A. ang hindi bababa sa dalawang porsiyento ng kanilang taunang budget sa pagpapatupad sa nabanggit na programa, alinsunod sa R.A. 10068,” President Aquino emphasized.

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