“Include farmers, consumers, vendors, the key players in crafting the roadmap” OIC RTD Doris Joy Garcia stressed this during the municipal workshop conducted by the Organic Agriculture Program of DA-RFO 1 for the province of La Union on October 19, 2022.

RTD Garcia said that the LGU level has a different perspective from that of the implementers thus the need also to capture their needs and consider some factors such as the key players, the fund, and the priority commodities, among others.

“At your municipal level, you can interview the farmer leaders to capture what they really want, because what’s happening is what we want as implementers and we are not capturing what our farmers want” she added while encouraging the participants to use a holistic approach in creating the Organic Agriculture roadmap for their respective municipalities.

On the other hand, OA program staff Ms. Maybelyn Libong discussed the rationale of the activity and partially the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS), which is the key feature of RA 11511, the amended Organic Agriculture Act of 2010.

She likewise presented the aligned interventions under OAP for next year and prompt the LGUs to write a letter of request to the Regional Executive Director if ever interested to avail of the agricultural supports and services of DA RFO 1.

Meanwhile, Mr. Rufino Gagni of the OA program presented the rationale of the activity to the Ilocos Sur folks, as well as their programs, projects, and activities for CY 2023. The workshop for Ilocos Sur was held October 20-21, 2022, at Aloha Nui Hotel in Candon City, Ilocos Sur.

Mr. Gagni reiterated that through the PGS, the cost of maintaining organic certification is already reduced which opened opportunities for small farmers and fisherfolks to be involved in organic farming as the PGS serves as an alternative to third-party certification.

As part of the workshop, some OA focal persons presented their proposed roadmaps for their colleagues’ comments, suggestions, and recommendations.

Through this workshop, each municipality can craft a clear and comprehensive framework that will allow the sector to become a viable option for farmers and fisherfolks to try organic agriculture.