𝗨𝗦𝗠 𝗣𝗿𝗲𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝟭𝟳𝘁𝗵 𝗡𝗢𝗔𝗖 𝗶𝗻 𝗙𝘂𝗹𝗹 𝗦𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗴
After a three-year halt, the 17th National Organic Agriculture Congress (NOAC) is finally happening. All roads lead to Kabacan, Cotabato as the University of Southern Mindanao (USM) is sponsoring the 2023 edition of NOAC on March 21-24.
Guided by the theme: “𝘔𝘢𝘶𝘯𝘭𝘢𝘥 𝘯𝘢 𝘗𝘢𝘨𝘴𝘢𝘴𝘢𝘬𝘢, 𝘎𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘴𝘢𝘥𝘰 𝘴𝘢 𝘖𝘳𝘨𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘬𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘈𝘨𝘳𝘪𝘬𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘨 𝘚𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘴𝘪𝘬,” the 17th NOAC is expected to gather organic farmers, researchers, students, faculty, and agriculture stakeholders in this four-day activity. “As of the latest count there are 459 registered participants,” said Dr. Mary Joy S. Cañolas, 17th NOAC co-coordinator. “The participants will expect plenary and keynote speeches, product exhibits, machineries tour, mini market, research presentations, and, of course, the USM hospitality,” Dr. Cañolas added.
USM President Dr. Francisco Gil N. Garcia, who also serves as the 17th NOAC coordinator, has high hopes for this national event. USM being the home of the College of Agriculture, the premier college and center of excellence in Agriculture, is equipped with competent human resources pursuing various endeavors for the advancement of organic agriculture not only in tertiary education but also in research, extension, and large-scale organic crops production activities.
The Organic Agriculture Center for Research and Development was also established in USM with Dr. Adeflor G. Garcia as its director. This R&D Center aims to accelerate and fast track the development of organic agriculture in the region by serving as hub for mapping priority research; becoming a training venue for organic agriculture practitioners; and analyzing research needs and gaps in organic agriculture in Southern Philippines.
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝗡𝗢𝗔𝗕?
Republic Act 10068, also known as the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, as amended by RA 11511, established the National Organic Agriculture Board (NOAB), under the Department of Agriculture (DA), which shall be the policy-making body and shall provide direction and general guidelines for the implementation of the National Organic Agricultural Program (NOAP). President Ferdinand E. Marcos, Jr. sits in NOAB as chairperson while Dr. Adeflor G. Garcia serves as the academe representative.
The NOAP aims to promote, propagate, further develop, and implement the practice of organic agriculture in the Philippines towards a competitive and sustainable organic industry. The Program’s mandate is as follows: 1) promotion and commercialization of organic farming practices; 2) cultivation and adoption of production and processing methods; 3) research and development; 4) capacity building of farmers; 5) consumer education; and 6) extension assistance to Local Government Units (LGUs), Peoples’ Organizations (POs), Non-Government Organizations (NGOs). NOAP is headed by Director Bernadette F. San Juan, CESO II.
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝗡𝗢𝗔𝗖?
NOAC is an annual activity spearheaded by DA-NOAP which serves as a good venue to showcase organic products, link farmers to markets, and share knowledge and experience among organic agriculture stakeholders.
The 16th NOAC was held on November 11-15, 2019 at Camp Benjamin, Alfonso in Cavite. However, from 2020 to 2022 the event was shelved due to COVID restrictions.
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗰𝘁 𝗶𝗻 𝟭𝟳𝘁𝗵 𝗡𝗢𝗔𝗖?
For this year’s NOAC, Senator Cynthia Villar, chair of Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, will address the participants through a video message during the opening program on March 21, 2:00 pm at the USM Auditorium. Meanwhile, Cotabato Governor Hon. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza; NOAP Director San Juan; DA-RFO 12 Regional Executive Director Salilia E. Abdula; PHilMech Director Dionisio Alvindia; and the representative of President Marcos, Jr. will be gracing the event as well. After the opening program, the governor alongside the USM president will sponsor a welcome dinner at 6:00 pm.
On Day 2, participants will learn more on recent trends and technologies from the simultaneous presentation of research papers on the different topics: 1) fertilizer, 2) crops, 3) rice, and 4) poultry and livestock on March 22 at the USM Commercial Center, USM Skyroom, and College of Arts and Social Sciences AVR.
Closing program will follow at 4:00 pm at the USM Commercial Center. Kabacan Mayor Hon. Evangeline Pascua-Guzman, Mayors’ League President Hon. Jonathan Mahimpit together with Representatives of Cotabato Hon. Joselito Sacdalan, Hon. Rudy Caoagdan, and Hon. Ma. Alana Sam19/3/2023antha Santos will treat the participants through a Fellowship Night at the USM Auditorium.