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Revisiting Organic Farming’s Impact in Decreasing Health Risks

Health is one of the four principles of Organic Agriculture, and the uncontrollable use of chemicals are significantly contributing to the declining health of our farmers. Aged between 48-57, they are more susceptible to health risks and this is one of the pressing concern of why there is a great need for a shift from conventional to an organic production system. “Our purpose was to lessen the number of farmers who were using commercial fertilizers and pesticides, because these are what's causing our health problems.” said Benjamin Maggay to an interview made by Rappler. The chronic exposure of farmers to some toxic chemicals such as Alkyl phenols, Chlorobenzenes, Rotenone etc. are posing great dangers to their health and may even yield greater complications targetting the respiratory and central nervous system.

The Cervantes town in Ilocos Sur are just one example of the municipalities that are integrating their strategy geared towards an agricultural sustainable development and a better health program for their residents that are active in farming. Interested farm and individual groups were given capacity building trainings and seminars and while they had been more exposed to organic farming sites and as their inclination grew further, some interventions were made to radically aid these farmers to pursue an organic system of food production through a starting budget sponsored by some stakeholders and a distribution of organic vegetable seeds by various implementing agencies.

Through collaborative efforts made by government agencies and programs such as the National Organic Agriculture Board,  National Organic Agriculture Program, Agricultural Training Institute, Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards and others, wide implementation of the Organic Agriculture Act (RA 10068) are reaching a commendable heights by the increasing number of farmers going into organic practices and the increasing number of farm enterprises that are being certified as organic. As concerns for health become paramount not only to the farmers but as well as to the consumers, more farmers are becoming inclined to  make a change in their system of production while adding more values to their produce and a significant growth to their income.

As organic produce are more nutritious and are less likely exposed to harmful chemicals, the consumers in the end had the most benefit while the producers are also perceived as gaining much more than they do in a conventional farming set up. Research has indicated that children whose parents made a shift to an organic diet reduced their exposure to organophosphates which includes the common and toxic malathion and chlorpyrifos and one study had compared the urine concentrations of organophosphorous pesticides and their metabolites in children subjected to conventional vs. organic diet and found that their diet was basically the route for major exposure (Beyond Pesticides).

Moreover, the health of the environment as sustained through organic agriculture  is seen as the key principle to decrease if not totally eradicate the negative effects of chemicals in the long run. While the damage has been done, such effects might still be alleviated by sustainable practices aligned with the other principles underlying organic agriculture. Truly, the importance of organic industry in improving the quality of life, rural development, environmental protection and social justice are just a few of the many manifestations of a wider sense of development. 

Camille Cruz, Kaya Natin! Movement. Retrieved from: https://www.rappler.com/nation/200710-organic-farming-less-health-risks-cervantes-ilocos-sur-benjamin-maggay

On the Principle of Care:  Why Grow Organic?

 We all know the endearing benefits of growing organic foods. Not only does it sustain the natural environmental cycles, it ensures a more nutritious and a safe produce for consumption. Through the years, the shift in producing organic foods are being encouraged through various promotional activities by concerned agencies and programs such as the Department of Agrirculture’s National Organic Agriculture Program (NOAP) and others. The advocacy of promoting the well being not only of humans but as well as the enviroment is reaching a commendable height through an increasing number of organic practitioners and arable lands being converted to organic use.  But what makes the practices of Organic Agriculture exceptional is the way it ensures a sustainable use of resources that makes it available for the next generation.

The International Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM)’s definition of the Principle of Care states that Organic Agriculture should be managed in a precautionary and responsible manner to protect the health and well-being of current and future generations and the environment. As an organic farming set up is perceived as a living and dynamic system that responds to internal and external conditions, practioners are expected to align their activities on what can be naturally found in the environment, the more a certain practice mimics a naturally occuring cycle (nutrient cycle, nitrogen cycle etc.) the better. One of the objectives of Organic Agriculture is to achieve an enhanced and efficient productivity without risk or any perilous impact to the environment and well being. With just the right technologies and methods proved to yield ideal results and knowing full well that ecosystems and agriculture should work hand in hand, care must be of great consideration.

IFOAM further stated that precaution and responsibility are the key concerns in management development and technology choices in Organic Agriculture and thus largely impacts the food production industry that safeguard a healthy, safe and ecologically sound practices. Moreover, it should also prevent significant risks through an adoption of appropriate technologies while rejecting unpredictable ones such as genetic engineering which may pose an even greater environmental threat. As continuous efforts are being made to strengthen the implementation of Organic Agriculture in the country, along with constant participation, the drive for a real progress is just as attainable as the fruit of a seed sown in just the right time and care.

Concerns for environment and nature, livestock welfare, and food quality are thus essential elements of the philosophy behind organic farming.

Organic Agriculture: An Ecological Boon

Organic Agriculture’s Pursuit for Fairness

REGION  ORGANIC TRADING POST  STATUS  LOCATION  OPERATOR 
 CAR

Kalinga

Completed(Non-Operational) Purok 5, Agro-Production Compound, Tabuk City, Kalinga  Kalinga Tawid Development Cooperative 
Luna  Completed(Non-Operational) San Isidro Sur, Luna, Apayao LGU Luna 
Lagawe  Completed (Operational)  Poblacion North Lagawe, Ifugao  LGU Lagawe 
Hingyon  Completed (Operational) 

Namulditan, Hingyon Ifugao

LGU Hingyon
Bangued  Completed (Operational) 

Abra

Provincial Local Government Unit
Bontoc Completed (Operational) 

Mt. Province

Provincial Local Government Unit with Farmer Association

Bauko Completed (Operational)  Mt. Province  LGU Bauko 
Tublay  Completed (Operational)   Benguet  LGU Tublay 
 RFO 1 Burgos Completed (Operational)   Poblacion, Burgos, Ilocos Norte  LGU Burgos 
Cervantes Completed (Operational)   Rosario, Cervantes, Ilocos Sur  LGU Cervantes 
Sta. Catalina Completed (Operational)   Poblacion, Ilocos Sur  LGU thru Federation of Farmers' Association of Sta. Catalina 
Urdaneta City Completed (Operational)   Alexander St., Urdaneta City, Pangasinan   CGU of Urdaneta 
Alaminos City Completed (Operational)   Lucap Wharf, Brgy. Lucap, Alaminos City, Pangasinan  Go Organic Alaminos Association (GOAL) 
Manaoag Completed (Operational)   Licki, Manaoag, Pangasinan  Agtalon Incorporated 
RFO 2 Isabela Completed (Operational)   Ilagan, Isabela  Isabela Permaculture Development Center 
Kayapa Completed (Operational)   Tubongan, Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya  Tubongan Women's Association for Rural Development, Inc. 
Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya Completed (Non-Operational)  Magsaysay, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya  PLGU Nueva Vizcaya 

RFO 3

Maria Aurora Completed (Operational)   Brgy. 04, Maria Aurora, Aurora  Maria Aurora Government 
Balanga City Completed (Operational)   Public Market, Barangay San Jose, Balanga City  Kasama-Ani sa Barangay Consumer Cooperative 
San Ildefonso Completed (Operational)   Public Market Poblacion, San Ildefonso, Bulacan  United San Ildefonso Farmers Family Vegetables & Grains Marketing Coop. 
Llanera Completed (Operational)   Public Market, Llanera, Nueva Ecija BOSQUE Multi-Purpose Cooperative 
Guimba Completed (Operational)   Afan Salvador, Guimba, Nueva Ecija  GUIMBANA BHW, MPC 
San Fernando Completed (Non-Operational)  New Public Market Del Pilar, City of San Fernando, Pampanga Sanduguan Farmers Association 
Botolan Completed (Operational)   Banowa Tamo Complex, Botolan, Zambales  Botolan Muna Farmer MPCConsumer Cooperative 
Masinloc Completed (Operational)   Capt. Tinong St. North Pob., Masinloc, Zambales  Masinloc RIC MPC 
Bustos For Completion Second Floor Bustos Public Market, Bustos, Bulacan  Bustos Vegetables Grower Association 
Cabiao Completed (Operational)   Municipal Compound, Cabiao, Nueva Vizcaya  Cabiao National & Municipal Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative 
Capas Completed (Operational)   Second Location: Tourism Building Municipal Compound, Capas Tarlac  LGU Capas Employees Association 

RFO 4A

Alfonso Completed (Operational) Alfonso Public Market, Luksuhin Ibaba, Alfonso, Cavite LGU Alfonso, Cavite 
Nagcarlan Completed (Operational)  Nagcarlan Public Market, Laguna  Office of the Municipal Agriculture Practitioners Association (BAVGA) 
Lumban  Completed (Operational)  Lumban Public Market, Laguna  Municipal Agriculture Office (LGU Lumban) 
Malvar Completed (Operational) Malvar Public Market, Poblacion, Malvar, Batangas  Municipal Agriculture Office (LGU Lumban) in cooperation with Organikong Magsasaka ng Malvar Association (ORMMA)
Bauan Completed (Non-Operational) Bauan Public Market, Batangas Bauan 
Tanay Completed (Operational)  Tanay Municipal Compound, Tanay, Rizal  LGU Tanay
Lucban Completed (Non-Operational)   2nd Floor, Public Market Building, Brgy 4, Lucban, Quezon  LGU through the office of the Municipal Agriculturist (LGU-OMA) 
RFO 4B Puerto Galera Completed (Operational) Hundura,Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro Municipal Agriculture & Fishery Council 
Naujan  Completed (Operational)  Poblacion 1, Naujan, Oriental Mindoro  Mindoro Organic Farmers Association 
San Jose Completed (Operational)  San Jose Municipal Town Plaza, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro  Local Government Unit in Coordination with San Jose Organic Farmers Association (SJOFA)
Odiongan Completed (Non-Operational)  Odiongan, Romblon   
Puerto Princesa For Completion  Purto Princesa, Palawan   
Calapan City Completed (Operational)  Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro  Calapan Federation of Farmers Association (CFFA) 
RFO 5 Legazpi City Completed (Operational)  Albay New Market, Bano, Legazpi City  LGU Legazpi; City Agriculture Office
Daet Completed (Operational)  Magallanes Iraya, Daet, Camarines Norte  Camarines Norte Government Workers Multi-Purpose Cooperative 
Naga City Completed (Operational) Motorpool Compound, Concepcion Pequena, Naga City City Government of Naga
Sorsogon City For Completion Bibincahan, Sorsogon City City Government (initial operation)
RFO 6 Numancia Completed (Non-Operational) Brgy Poblacion, Numancia, Aklan LGU Numancia
Roxas City Completed (Operational) Isla Lanot, Poblacion, Roxasy City Capiz Provincial Local Government Unit
Jordan Completed (Non-Operational) New Site, San Miguel, Jordan Guimaras LGU Jordan
Zarraga Completed (Operational) Poblacion, Zarraga, Iloilo LGU Zarraga
Silay City Completed (Operational) Pobalcion, Silay City, Negros Occidental LGU Silay
Bacolod For Completion Old Pala-pala, Bacolod, Negros Occidental OPA Negros Occidental
RFO 7 Bohol For Completion New Capitol Site, JA Clarin St., Tagbilaran City, Bohol Provincial Local Government Unit
Negros Oriental For Completion PAO Compound, Dumagete City Provincial Local Government Unit and ROAC Negros
RFO 8 Naval Completed (Operational) Poblacion Naval, Biliran Province LGU Naval
RFO 9 Dumingag Completed (Operational) Poblacion Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur LGU Dumingag
Aurora Completed (Non-Operational) Poblacion Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Local Government Unit
Sindangan Completed (Operational) Goleo, Sindangan, Zamboanga Del Norte LGU Sindangan
Titay Zamboanga Sibugay Completed (Operational) Titay, Zamboanga Sibugay LGU Titay
Zamboanga City  For Completion Sta. Cruz, Zamboanga City CLGU-Zamboanga City
RFO 10 Talisayan Completed (Non-Operational) Sitio Kabalawan, Mintabon Talisayan, Misamis Oriental LGU Talisayan
Valencia City Completed (Non-Operational) Brgy Poblacion, Valencia City, Bukidnon LGU Valencia
Kauswagan Completed (Operational) Bagumbayan, Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte LGU Kauswagan
Kapatagan Completed (Non-Operational) Poblacion Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte LGU Kapatagan
RFO 11 Magsaysay Completed (Operational) Magsaysay, Davao del Sur Magsaysay Organic Farmers Marketing Cooperative (MOFARMCO)
Davao City For Completion People's Park Agriculturist Multi Purpose Cooperative
Braulio E. Dujali Completed (Operational) Tennis Court Compound, Nazareno St., Brgy. Central, City of Mati CLGU Mati
Banaybanay Completed (Operational) Public Market, San Vicente, Banaybanay, Davao Oriental Banaybanay Municipal Employee's Cooperative (BAMECO)
Bansalan Completed (Operational) Via Alde St., Poblacion Dos, Bansalan Davao del Sur RICCOBA Multipurpose Cooperative
Nabunturan Completed (Operational) Purok 10, Poblacion, Nabunturan Compostela Valley Province Nabunturan Marketing Cooperative (NAMARCO)
RFO 12 Surallah Completed (Operational)  Surallah South Cotobato Central Alternative Medicine Producers Coop
Midsayap Completed (Operational)  Bagsakan Center, Midsayap North Cotobato Municipal Agri. Fishery Council (MAFC)
Tulunan Completed (Operational) Poblacion Tulunan, North Cotobato LGU Tulunan
Tacurong City Completed (Operational) Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat San Antonio Farmers MPC
Koronodal City For Completion Koronodal City  
RFO 13 San Jose Completed (Operational) San Jose Dinagat Island Province of Love Credit Cooperative
Alegria For Completion Surigao del Norte Alegria Market Vendors Association
Bayugan City Completed (Non-Operational) Bayugan City, Agusan Del Sur Bayugan Achievers Multi-Purpose Cooperative
Butuan City Completed (Operational) Butuan City Taguibo Integrated Pest Management Irrigators Association
RTR Completed (Operational) Agusan Del Norte Kahugpungan sa Mag-uuma nga Nagsubay sa Lihok sa Kinayahan Inc. 
ARMM Manungkaling Completed (Operational) Brgy. Manungkaling, Mamasapano Al-Rahman MPC
Lanao Del Sur Completed (Non-Operational) Balindong, Lanao del Sur  
Basilan Completed (Operational)  Sta. Clara, Lamitan City Sta. Clara Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Integrated Development Cooperative (SCARBIDC)
SULU Completed (Operational) Anuling, Patikul Anuling Farmers Association
Tawi-Tawi Completed (Operational) Bongao, Tawi-Tawi Campo Sanga-Sanga Consumer Coop.

Updated as of December 31, 2018