The Bureau of Agricultural Research is mandated to lead and coordinate the national agriculture and fisheries research and development (R&D) in the country. Under Section 20 of RA 10068 otherwise known as the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, BAR is tasked to be the lead agency in coordinating organic agriculture research, development and extension activities with other government agencies, SUCs, and private sectors.
The National Organic Agriculture Program (NOAP) has allocated a budget of Php 50,000,000.00 for 2016 new and on-going researches on organic agriculture under BAR. Through this fund, the Bureau was able to support 34 RDE projects composed of 21 applied research, 12 production and postproduction technology for commercialization and 3 RDE Facilities.
The activities and accomplishment of the approved projects are being monitored by the concerned divisions of DA-BAR (Project Monitoring and Evaluation Division (PMED), Technology Commercialization Division (TCD), Institutional Development Division (IDD). Monitoring and evaluation of projects include both on-site and desk monitoring and technical review of progress reports and financial reports. Terminal reviews are also conducted at the end of project implementation.
The Project Monitoring and Evaluation Division has monitored 16 applied researches, reviewed the progress of 26 projects and conducted terminal review of 25 projects. The Technology Commercialization Division on the other hand, has monitored 10 projects on production and post-production technology for commercialization, reviewed the progress of 4 projects and conducted terminal review for 4 projects.
From the 2016 completed projects, four technologies were developed from the following projects:
- Sustainable Community Based Commercialization of Organic Vegetable while Promoting Food Security and Safety
- Development and Validation of Organic-based Production and Pest Management of Selected Vegetables
- Development of Strategies and Support Systems for Farmers in Conversion from Conventional to Organic
- Evaluation of Pest Management Strategies for Organic Strawberry and Citrus Production in the Cordillera
In addition, the technology under the project “Adoption and Utilization of Nipa Palm Sugar Processing Technology (NPSPT) in the Municipality of Lanuza, Surigao del Sur” was commercialized. This technology focuses on the proper tapping techniques, preparation and handling of nipa sap and nipa syrup conversions, and preparation of nipa palm sugar production using production standards.
The results of the organic agriculture research are documented by the Applied Communication Division (ACD) of BAR through Mag-Agri Tayo, an agricultural program on television aired in Channel 4 NBN every Saturday at 9:00 am, to inform the public and concerned stakeholders about organic agriculture in the country. The 2016 documented projects were the following:
- Management, Utilization and Value-adding of Animal Waste to Reduce Environmental Liabilities and for the Improvement of Degraded Soils
Proponent: Dr. Gina Pangga, Agricultural Systems Cluster,UPLB
- Food Quality and Safety Evaluation of Organically Grown Crops vs. Conventionally Grown Crops in Two Types of Soil
Proponent: Dr. Lorele C. Trinidad, BIOTECH, UPLB
- Technology Promotion of Vesicular Arbuscular Mychorrizal Root Inoculant (VAMRI) in Regions 4A and 4B
Proponent: Dr. Marilyn Brown, BIOTECH- UPLB
- Protocol Improvement & Product Development of Liquid Organic Fertilizers from Fermented Plant Extract
Proponent: Dr. Mannix Pedro,BIOTECH-UPLB
Aside from documentation of projects, the bureau also conducts free seminar on the latest and relevant developments on organic agriculture. The seminars conducted were the following:
- Development of Pest Management Products and Systems for Organic Vegetable Production in CAR: A Journey from Laboratory to the Farm
Speaker: Ms. Jocelyn C. Perez, BSU
- Improving the Production of Organically Grown Vegetables
Speaker: Ms. Ellen S. Romero, Ramon Magsaysay Center for Agricultural Resources and Environmental Studies, CLSU
- Soil Quality and Food Safety in Organic Agriculture
Speaker: Dr. Lorele Trinidad, UPLB
The bureau also spearheaded the conduct of a Stakeholders’ Consultation Workshop on Finalizing the Organic Agriculture RDE Agenda 2017-2023 last April 6-8, 2016 to review and finalize the OA RDE Agenda identified during the series of Island-wide consultation workshops in 2015. The output of the consultation workshop was further subjected to refinement last May 30-June 1, 2016 by Organic Agriculture pool of experts.