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SAN AGUSTIN, PILI, CAMARINES SUR – Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) Executive Director Dr. Nicomedes P. Eleazar led the blessing and inauguration of the P4M Organic Agriculture Research and Development Center inside the 76 hectare DA RFO 5 compound here on October 21, 2016.

Dr. Edgar R. Madrid, DA Bicol Regional Technical Director for Research said the center is equipped with a conference room, office and processing areas where packages of organic agriculture technologies will be made.

Luz R. Marcelino, Research Division Chief said the center will cater to farmers, students and State Universities and Colleges. It will showcase organic swine production, vegetable production, and vermi composting facilities.

Other functions of the center include: venue of research and extension activities for organic agriculture; develop appropriate organic animal and crop production technologies; establish organic agriculture techno demo farm; assist in the establishment of bio-safety and certification bodies in coordination with national government agencies; assist in the certification of organic farms; provide training and extension services to farmers, students and other stakeholders.

BAR Executive Director Dr. Nicomedes P. Eleazar said all the regions were given funds by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) for the establishment of an Organic Agriculture R&D Center and the BAR is closely monitoring them to make they are operational. He added that among all regions, Bicol is the most progressive and he hopes that Bicol will serve as supplier of organic products to Metro Manila.

DA Bicol Regional Executive Director Dr. Elena B. delos Santos in her speech thanked the Bureau of Agricultural Research for all the support even in the past when she was still Research Division Chief and BIARC Manager, and until now that she is the regional executive director.

Also present during the inauguration were Mr. Mariano Racelis, member of National Organic Agriculture Board; Engr. Rolando de Asis, Vice President for Academic Affairs of Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA); Vivien Carable, OIC Director of Agricultural Training Institute; Adelina A. Losa, Organic Agriculture program focal person; Emily Bordado, Regional Information Officer; LGU technicians and representatives from the Research Outreach Stations (ROS). Reverend Father Marcel Emmanuel P. Real officiated the blessing. (Lovella Guarin, photos by Jun Collantes and Mitoy Privaldos)