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.
This year’s conference comes at a time of a global food and fuel crises made more turbulent with the collapse of financial markets. The theme was “Sustaining the Gains of Organic Agriculture: Enhancing Biodiversity, Providing Safe and Adequate Food”.
The conferences held on the 15th to 17th of October 2008, in line with the international celebration of the World Food Day (WFD) at the Davao Convention Center, Davao City. A parallel Organic Trade Fair and Exhibit organized by GOM hold at the convention center together with a Buyers Forum on the side.
AFA secretariat help PAKISAMA set up its booth, as part of the participation in the Go Organic Mindanao conference. Pakisama-Mindanao leaders exhibit their organic rice products. There are over 300 participants attend NOAC. Some national leaders from PAKISAMA and AFA secretariat as well as local leaders and staff also attend this conference.
(Photo taken by Huang Sung Wei, Volunteer)