By Jerome Dumlao
The country’s food security was at the forefront of discussions during the 2nd International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD) Philippine Partners Knowledge and Learning Market (KLM) held on October 28-30 in Pasig City.
A fitting follow-up to the first edition held last year, this year’s IFAD-KLM brought together major players in the country’s rural development scene to raise awareness on the burgeoning crisis on food prices, define various measures needed to prevent its escalation, and discuss approaches for sustainability.
Representatives from government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and people’s organizations who have been working with IFAD in the Philippines were on hand during the three-day conference.
Secretaries Arthur Yap of the Department of Agriculture (DA) (who sent a representative) and Nasser Pangandaman of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), as well as Undersecretary Zenaida Cuison-Maglaya of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) were invited to take part in a panel discussion on “Unstable Food Prices, Food Security and Self-Sufficiency”, the highlight of the 2nd day.
By Tsai Shu Hui, AFA
Organic agriculture has steadily gained acceptance and support the past years. Stakeholders and supporters of the organic agriculture sector are now working and collaborating with each other for its development and advancement. The first National Organic Agriculture Conference (NOAC) was convened in June 2004 through the collaboration of the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Product Standards (BAFPS) with the Organic Producers and Traders Association (OPTA).
The output of the 2004 Conference was a resolution signed by then DA Secretary Luis P. Lorenzo calling for the creation of a Philippines National Organic Agriculture Board (PNOAB). The conference also enabled organic stakenholders, regulators, academe, and non-government organizations to interact.
For 2008, the 5th NOAC held in Davao City through the collaborative efforts of the BAFPS, DA-Regional Field Unit Xl, National Organic Agriculture Board (NOAB) and the Go Organic Mindanao (GOM), a broad coalition of advocates and practitioners of organic agriculture in Mindanao.
By Tsai Shu Hui, AFA
To help understand better the Trade Sustainability Impact Assessment (TSIA) report on EU-ASEAN FTA made by ECORYS Netherlands and make comments and feedback, AFA called for a roundtable discussion with like-minded groups yesterday, September 10, at the PAKISAMA Office, in Quezon City, Philippines.
Ten (10) participants attended from different organizations such as, AsiaDHRRA, PhilDHRRA, Focus on the Global South, 11-11-11, and IDEALS.
API conducted a dialogue with the chief of the national land affair body and state justice on February 4, 2008 in Langkat, North Sumatra to address the conflict between Banjaran farmers and the PT Buana estate. The national land affairs body and API decided to make a plan to solve this conflict, a first step of which is to go to the field to conduct an investigation. A temporary result from BPN (national land affair body) was that PT Buana Estate was taken arbitrarily by PT. Buana Estate.
API facilitated the mapping about crime-infested food in Banjaran Village, Langkat, North Sumatra last March 24-30, 2008. The farmers couldn’t do agricultural activities because their land was taken arbitrarily by PT. Buana Estate.
Aliansi Petain Indonesia (API) facilitated the Jambi Farmers Discussion on March 16-17, 2008. It was attended by 17,500 farmers from five districts (Batang Hari, Tebo, Janjung, West Jabung and east “Tanjung jabung ng Jabung Timur). The Governor of Jambi acted “inklaf”” (reverted their rights land). It was authorized by PT Wira Karya Sakti for 82,000 hectares in 5 districts. There was also a gift fund of Rp.1 billion for ten years. The future plan of the farmers is to conduct a dialogue to cooperate with the Agriculture Department to manage their land for food production and social forestry.
In the first quarter of this year, the Indonesian Peasant Aliance (API) focused its efforts on the settlement of the Peasant Case in Sukabumi East Java. The land quarrel started in 1996. On January 28, 2008, API supported the effort on settlement with the National Commission of Human Rights through mediation. The mediation was made among the Sukabumi peasant, a regent of Sukabumi, the head of the regency police, and a representative from the enterprise side. The peasant won 700 USD as compensation.