La Union – One more step and these five organic agriculture practitioners from Pangasinan will be able to certify other organic farmers in Ilocos region.

This after they received their Participatory Organic Certificates (POC) from the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Product Standards (BAFPS), Wednesday.

Dr. Vivencio Mamaril, BAFPS Director said that the certificate is a proof that the farmers and their commodities passed the qualifications of the Philippine National Standards for Organic Agriculture.

Among those who received their POCs are Ms. Evelyn Breguera (Abundance Agri-Tourism Farm and Training Center, Inc.) from Dasol, Pangasinan, Ms. Vilma Corpuz (Paraiso del Valour) from Alaminos City, Ms. Annabella Dacones (Teraoka Farm, Inc) and Ms. Lea Astrude Santiago (Our Farm Republic), both from Mangatarem, Pangasinan, and Ms. Noemi Disu (Greentop Organix Farm) from San Fabian.

Said organic farmers’ commodities are mainly focused on vegetable and fruit crops, herbs spices and medicines, table eggs and native chicken.

However, Dr. Choi is hoping that in no time, the farmers will be accredited as organic certifying bodies (OCB) to ease certification process not only in Pangasinan but in the entire Region 1.

The five farmers now await their accreditation as OCB under the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) in order for them to have the capability to certify organic farmer-members.

Under the PGS which is in accordance with the Organic Agriculture Act as amended, accredited organic farmers will be given the power to certify producers/farmers based on a “foundation of trust, social network and knowlwdge exchange” and is an alternative to third-party certification.
Meanwhile, the City of San Fernando also presented their proposal for the certification of organic farmers in La Union. ###

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