Organic agriculture in PH: No funding, no plans

By Dennis Maliwanag7 days ago

MANILA, PhilippinesThe Philippines institutionalized organic agriculture through Republic Act No. 10068, or the Organic Agricultural Act of 2010.

The law was recently amended by Republic Act No. 11511 which introduced these provisions:

  • Nationwide educational and awareness campaign on the benefits of consuming organic products
  • Adoption of the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) as a community of group-based certification process, other than third party certification of organic products
  • Protection of organic resources against contamination by genetically engineered organisms including crops, livestock and poultry and marine products
  • Access to marketing by organic producers to ensure decent prices which would ensure organic ventures are profitable and sustainable

While these measures are most welcome, a critical gap exists between the amended law and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR).

They do not adequately address the fundamental question of how to wean away 97 to 98 percent of producers, mostly small, from chemical-laced farming to natural, organic and ecological agriculture.

Philippine laws and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) provide that organic conversion starts when a farmer stops using chemicals and concludes with certification of his farm to be 100 percent organic, or chemical-free, after a rigorous process.

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