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The Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office I successully conducted the 2nd Regional Organic Agriculture Congress (ROAC) at Hotelinda Suites, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur.

Spearheaded by the Regional Organic Agriculture Program, the 2-day activity convened around 400 organic agriculture practitioners and advocates of organic farming in the region consisting of farmers, processors, agri-extension workers and representatives from the academe.

With this year’s theme “Organikong Pamamaraan, Umpisahan sa Bakuran”, the Congress provided opportunities for the organic agriculture stakeholders to learn and be updated on the latest trends and information about organic agriculture.

Gracing the event in behalf of National Organic Agriculture Program (NOAP) Director Christopher Morales as Guest of Honor and Speaker is Mr. Junibert de Sagun, Deputy Director of NOAP. With him are Ilocos Sur First District Representative, Congressman Deogracias Victor Savellano, Vigan City Mayor, Juan Carlo Medina and National Organic Agriculture Board Member, Mr. Jeffrey Laruan.

In his welcome address during the event, Mayor Medina underscored the importance of conducting activity such as the ROAC to strengthen the linkages of the key players in organic farming towards a better and sustainable agriculture industry.

Giving emphasis on the programs and projects related to organic agriculture being implemented in Vigan City that specifically encouraged the younger generations to engage in agriculture, Mayor Medina also noted the LGU of Vigan’s move to provide scholarship programs to students taking up agriculture related courses and the allocation of funds for organic agriculture projects in the City.

Regional Technical Director Orlando Lorenzana representing DA-RFO I’s Regional Executive Director Lucrecio Alviar, Jr. in his message conveyed the DA’s hundred percent support and commitment in providing programs and interventions especially on production support, extension and marketing linkages to further develop and strengthen the organic agriculture industry in the region.

Inspiring the participants to also try and engage in organic farming, the ROAC organizers recognized during the event the outstanding performance and contributions of some individuals and groups in support to organic agriculture promotion.

Mr. Reynaldo Dacones, the head of the Family Dacones and the owner of Teraoka Farm, the only Third Party Certiied Organic Farm in Ilocos Region from Mangatarem, Pangasinan, received from the DA-RFO I a cash award of P50,000.00 as the Outstanding Organic Farm Family. The Dacones Family is Region 1’s nominee to the 2018 Search for Outstanding Organic Farm Family at the National level.

Along with the Dacones Family, Mr. Danilo Ramos of San Marcos, San Nicolas Ilocos Norte also received P50,000.00 as cash prize for being the Regional Outstanding Organic Agriculture Farmer. A special citation was given to Mr. Rhandy Opelac from Batac City for his outstanding performance as Outstanding Organic Agriculture Extension Worker. Mr. Opelac received P15,000.00 cash prize as his award.

Meanwhile, Congressman Deogracias Victor Savellano reiterated his strong desire to intensify support for organic farming in his province. Himself an advocate of organic farming, he challenged the OA program implementers to come up with a truly tangible and concrete programs and projects that genuinely addresses the needs of organic farming practitioners. He hopes that with DA’s support, the Province of Ilocos Sur can become a major supplier of organic inputs in Region I.

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