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The creation of Republic Act 10068, also known as the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, had sprung into the establishment of local ordinances mandating the allocation of at least 5% of the total Agricultural areas for organic farming. It aims to promote not only the production of organically produced products, but also to raise awareness on the availability, accessibility of products and the technology.

Organic Agriculture Program in Region III has been providing technical, market development, education and extension support services to farmers to facilitate conversion of agricultural production practices from conventional to organic farming. Through the Provincial and Municipal Government Units, assistance are being extended to expand areas for production and marketing of organically grown agricultural products including crops, livestock, poultry and fishery.

In CY 2016, the program had a total of 39,466.81 hectares for organic farming from the 7,586 OA practitioners with a total of 7, 586 MT volume of production. Nueva Ecija province had the highest increase in area after successfully documenting and inviting farmers in organic farming. In collaboration with the provincial and municipal local government units, OA projects continue to operate by providing trainings/ demonstration, organic inputs [fertilizers and botanical pesticides] seeds and planting materials produced from techno-demo sites funded from 2011 - 2014. Seed assistance from BPI continues to spread through the seed-relay scheme. Three SUCs produce native chicken and pigs for dispersal to organic practitioners while three DA production centers also provide continuous services in terms of trainings, plant and animal stocks, with the Regional laboratories [soils, feeds and RCPC] in terms of sample analysis and production of biocontrol agents. Altogether, these activities resulted to the increase in awareness on organic agriculture as manifested in the number of consumers, frequent establishment of organic trading posts and organic market days and subsequent increase in area for organic farming. The undergoing presentations show the program/ project activities funded for CY 2016 which served a total of 421 individual farmers/ stakeholders and 77 groups.

Production Support Services

Organic practitioners in Region III are being assisted by the program to improve and sustain their production activities in crop and animal production. Quality OPV rice, corn and vegetable seeds, soil inoculants and organic fertilizers were distributed to 77 groups and 421 individuals under a seed relay scheme.

A total of 27 heads of goat, 1,600 heads of chicken and 100 heads of native pigs were dispersed to 22 groups and 135 individuals. Other farm inputs that are used in the production of organic inputs are molasses, African Night Crawlers, plastic nets, plastic sheets; plastic crates were also distributed to a total of 19 groups and 50 individuals.

Biocontrol agents particularly earwigs (Euborella ….) and metarhizium were also provided to interested practitioners for pest control.

DA facilities providing services to practitioners were provided logistical support in terms of laboratory supplies and staff. Soils Laboratory were provided for free soil analysis and fertilizer assay to farmers.

Market Development Services

There were 4 events assisted, 15 events conducted; 1 event was funded for market-related activities benefitting a total of 1,459 individuals under this component. The Value of marketing agreements consummated has a total amount of P 2.364M with a total volume of 45 metric tons amounting to a total of P1.015M sales generated due to linking of organic producers to institutional buyers and continuous conduct of Consumer Awareness in each province.

  • Market related events funded
    • One (1) Organic Agriculture Trade Fair with Consumer Awareness activity was funded during the Provincial Organic Agriculture Congress in Maria Aurora on July 19, 2016. Participants were organic producers, LGUs, academe and other consumers.
  • Market related events assisted
    • Local Trade Fairs

The program participated in the Provincial Fair during the “Unang Sigaw ng Nueva Ecija” dated September 2, 2016 at Palayan City, Nueva Ecija and the Regional organic producers (Saret Farmville, FLOPA, ATOP and Organic Trading Post of Balanga) participated in the National Trade Fair during the National Organic Agriculture Congress held at Plaza del Norte, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte lastNovember 22-25, 2016. Assorted processed and fresh organic products and slow food were exhibited in the booth.

    • International Trade Fair

The program also participated in the International event locally held SIAL Philippines dated May 31 – June 3, 2016 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City represented by SARET Farmville and Joyful Garden Organic Farmers Association. The Saret Organic Farmville got the most number of products selected and qualified in the SIAL INNOVATION AWARD.

  • Market-Related Events Conducted

There were 15 market-related events conducted, activities included were Market Matching, Launching of Organic Trading Posts, Launching of Farmers Market Day and Consumer Awareness/lecture and Food and Juicing Demonstration.

Education Services, Extension and Training Services (ESETS)

Continuous technical trainings were provided to OA stakeholders to improve their compliance to the Phil. National Standards and to qualify for certification. Five organic practitioners were funded for the certification subsidy. Hereunder are the list of trainings conducted:

Title of Training & Related activities

Venue

No. of Participants

Orientation on OA and GAD Programs

TCA, Camiling Tarlac and Paniqui, Tarlac

140

Training on Organic Farming and its Principle

Malolos City, Bulacan

35

Capability Building on Pre-Assessment of Certification Subsidy Applicants

Windblows Private Place, Sta. Rosa, Nueva Ecija

25 (DA employees)

Training on Certification Documentation Process and Preparation

Seorabeoal Hotel, Subic, Zambales

17 OA Stakeholders and 16 DA-employees

Training on Organic Vegetable Production cum Urban Gardening

DA-CLIARCLD, Paraiso, Tarlac City

47

Training on Organic Input Production and Vermicomposting

DA-CLIARCLD, Paraiso, Tarlac City

45

Training on Mushroom Production

DA-CLIARCLD, Paraiso, Tarlac City

47

Trainings conducted by the seven provincial government units and existing technology demonstration farmers were funded to expand the provision of training and other extension services in their respective areas of coverage.

The Regional Organic Agriculture Congress was held last November 9-10, 2016 at DA-CLIARC compound, Tarlac City with more than 350 participants from all over the region. The governor of Tarlac, Hon. Susan A. Yap and Mr. Mariano Racelis, one of the NOAB members and Atty. Jennilyn Dawayan, RTD for Research & Regulatory graced the occasion. Fifteen exhibitors displayed and offered their products for sale. The Association of Tarlac Organic Producers (ATOP) was awarded as best booth and best Organic Trading Post (OTP). The province of Zambales won the best presentation in the folk-dancing contest.

The search for National Organic Achievers’ Awardees was carried out from April to August - from nomination, desk evaluation, validation, and final evaluation. The Regional winners were awarded during the 2016 Gawad Saka Awarding Ceremony. These regional winners were endorsed for the national level search. There were two winners from the region, namely- NOAA National Winner for Provincial Focal Person Category- Mr. Bernardo Valdez of Nueva Ecija and Municipal Focal Person Category – Mr. Wilson Candelario of Maria Aurora, Aurora. The two were awarded during the 13th National Organic Agriculture Congress held in Laoag City last November 23-25, 2016.

Production-Related Agricultural Machineries, Equipment, Post-Harvest Equipment & Facilities

In order to improve production efficiency and profitability in organic farming, facilities were also established and donated to OA stakeholders to be used in the development and improvement of their organic products.

One unit of mini-tractor was awarded to the province of Aurora for the improvement of coconut-based organic farms located in areas which are organic by default.

Five units of Multipurpose-Cultivator were awarded to five farmers’ organizations;

Two units of Organic Feed Processing Center with hammermill, mixer, pelletizer, weighing scale, and bag closer were granted to one farmer group and one LGU to start the production of organic feeds to be supplied to raisers of organic native pigs and chicken in their organization and nearby communities.

One Tissue Culture Laboratory was granted to root crop producers for the production of tissue cultured sweet potato, cassava, yam and arrowroot to be supplied to identified organic zones.

Two units of Organic Seed Storage were funded for two Provincial Technology Demo Sites to maintain good quality organic seeds for distribution to stakeholders.

Thirteen vacuum sealers, two freezers and two chillers were also awarded to established Organic Trading Posts and Organic Markets to improve food handling conditions.