Themed “Kabuhayang OA (Organic Agriculture), Kinabukasang OK,” the 9th Regional Organic Agriculture Congress hosted by the provincial government of Negros Occidental continues to bring forward the thriving organic farming sector in Western Visayas.
The Department of Agriculture (DA)-initiated event gathered officials and practitioners from six provinces in the region from Oct. 23 to 27 at the Negros Residences in Bacolod City.
“Western Visayas has always been one of the top performers in organic agriculture,” Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said in his message.
At the opening rites, Lacson was joined by Undersecretary Zamzamin Ampatuan, National Organic Agriculture Program Director Bernadette San Juan, DA-Western Visayas Officer-in-Charge Jose Albert Barrogo, representatives of various local government units and national government agencies, and organic stakeholders.
“The future can take hold because we believe there is a bright future ahead of us for organic agriculture. I congratulate and thank the organic agriculture farmers for propagating a new mindset in agriculture. Your task is important, the future of agriculture is with you,” Ampatuan said.
Delivering the message of DA-Western Visayas Regional Executive Director Dennis Arpia, Barrogo said the congress is a crucial part of the solution to many of the environmental challenges.
“By fostering a more sustainable and equitable agricultural system at the regional level, we can help build healthier, more resilient future for our communities. I have no doubt that together, we can work towards a brighter organic future in Western Visayas,” he added.
San Juan led the recognition and awarding of the Participatory Guarantee System- Participatory Organic Certificate to 80 organic farmer practitioners from the provinces of Iloilo, Antique, Capiz, Aklan, Guimaras and Negros Occidental.
“It is very challenging to obtain an organic certification. They worked hard to get a certification so that their products will have organic integrity,” she added.
Moreover, Lacson said the dedication of the organic stakeholders and partners is not only commendable but vital for the economic development of the region, the well-being of communities, and mitigating the destruction of the environment.
The 9th Regional Organic Agriculture Congress sought to optimize the sustainability and interdependency of the agriculture sector and the environment as well as provide a venue for sharing and learning about the best practices in organic agriculture in the region, including the latest advancements and marketing strategies.
Exhibit booths also displayed various organic food products and produce from across the region at the Ayala Malls Capitol Central Fiesta Market just across the Provincial Capitol. ||