Bukidnon SP to pass organic agriculture code

MALAYBALAY CITY(Bukidnon News Dispatch / 21 November 2011) – The provincial board of Bukidnon is poised to pass its Organic Agriculture Act of Bukidnon 2011, providing for the local government to mainstream organic agriculture as the main agriculture practice in the province, according to the draft of the proposed ordinance sponsored by board member Ranulfo Pepito.


Pepito, who chairs the provincial board’s committee on agriculture, said they are recommending the urgent approval of the ordinance declaring that it “is the duty of the local government to protect and advance the right of the small and disadvantaged farmers to food security, sustainable livelihood and social equity in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.”


Pepito told Bukidnon News Friday after the committee hearing that Bukidnon will become the first in Northern Mindanao to pass the ordinance to protect its agriculture advantage.


Among the key features of the ordinance, which is pursuant to the Republic Act 10068 or the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, is the fixed budgetary support for organic agriculture at the local government unit.


The P5-million fixed budget to be taken from the general fund of the provincial government’s annual budget will be used as mobilization fund for the operation and implementation of the ordinance.


The provincial ordinance also provided that municipal governments are encouraged to appropriate not less than 10 percent of their annual budget for the implementation of the organic agriculture projects. The barangay governments are asked to initiate their own long term programs with specific budget allocation from their internal revenue allotment (IRA).


According to the implementing rules and regulations of the code, as front liners in the implementation of the program, provincial, city, and municipal ordinances must be passed to specify participatory and bottoms-up approach to grass root organic agricultural programs and projects. The ordinances, the provincial ordinance added, must contain the approved local organic agriculture program, which adopts and elaborates the National Organic Agricultural Program.


The organic agriculture program, Pepito added quoting the Code, must be the strategy to address concerns on food security, environment, health, and wellness and poverty alleviation.


Pepito said in his draft that the promotion and enhancement of the conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity “shall prevail over other activities in the “agriculture sector.” He added that the empowerment of small and disadvantaged farmers should be prioritized.


He said organic agriculture is a contributor to the province’s economy and the attainment of food security, ecological sustainability, and the well-being of the people.


The ordinance also makes a statement against genetically modified crops developed by agriculture companies.


“Organic agriculture does not co-exist with genetically-modified crops and related organisms, both living and non-living,” he added.


Pepito added that the local government must employ strategies that protect indigenous knowledge relating to organic agriculture and those that recognize the women’s and small farmers’ roles.


The SP draft provided that while promoting the program there must be support services to the small farmers like the conduct of organic farming trainings, livestock dispersal, and seed distribution for vegetables.


The proposed ordinance also provided the Provincial Agriculture Office should encourage, develop, promote, and support the establishment of community seed bank for the preservation and propagation of traditional seed varieties of crops and fruit trees. It has also required support for certification of seed products. Also, they have provided for the promotion of products through retail outlets and the establishment of trading posts for organic products.


But the proposed ordinance also provided that the Provincial Agriculture Office shall regulate the entry of organic input supply in coordination with the Fertilizers and Pesticides Authority (FPA) as to origins, manufacturer, N-P-K (Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorus) analysis and other plant growth elements.


The ordinance also seeks to create the Bukidnon Organic Agriculture Technical Committee to review, consolidate, formulate and endorse plans, programs, projects, and activities for organic agriculture and other functions, which include coordination of programs, developing incentive mechanisms to motivate farmers to shift to organic farming. (Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: