Local Chief Executives, Farmers and Extension Workers among the New Breeds of OA Champions

Local Chief Executives from Mindanao joins in the Seminar-Workshop on Communicating Organic Agriculture

MAJAYJAY, Laguna – To further boost organic farming in the country, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) as the extension and training arm of the Philippine Department of Agriculture is now tapping the different stakeholders to promote, advocate and communicate not only the practice of organic agriculture (OA) but also its benefits and advantages to people and the environment.

In line with this, ATI has started conducting series of seminars and workshops on communicating organic agriculture which primarily aimed to develop a new breed of OA champions. Moreover, the activities served as avenues to identify key strategies in promoting organic farming.

Among the 35 participants who attended the first workshop were current and former Local Chief Executives from regions 9, 10 and 13. They were joined by other OA-practitioners such as farmers and extension workers who have showed interest in advocating organic farming.

The three-day seminar-workshop saw how the vice governor, mayors and vice mayors mingled with their constituents, who for this activity were their fellow participants. Everyone was of equal status as they ate together during meal times and even shared rooms for the accommodation.

Activities included discussions on the best practices of Costales Nature Farms by farm owner himself Ronald Costales as well as a farm tour where a demonstration of the different technologies used in the farm was also held. Antonieta Arceo of ATI-Knowledge Products Management Division facilitated the workshop in identifying the challenges and strategies in promoting and advocating organic farming.

“We already consider you as our stakeholders and partners in promoting organic agriculture because you are an OA champion in your own little ways,” Arceo said during her synthesis and integration for the activity.

The seminar-workshop ended with the participants giving their commitments on what they can do in terms of promoting organic agriculture in their respective locality.

This activity is a nationwide initiative that will be conducted for every region, the seminar-workshop for Mindanao cluster A which composed of Regions 9, 10 and 13 was held in Costales Nature Farms, Majayjay, Laguna last October 8 to 10, 2013.